Outing the Skeleton in the Closet

Racism is defined as the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term “racism” is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature (i.e. which harms particular groups of people), and which is often justified by recourse to racial stereotyping or pseudo-science.

That’s how Wikipedia has gone to define the word. Now I realize I’ve spoken s little on the subject of racism in the topic of zombie films as allegories. This however is a horse of a different colour, to use the colloquialism.

Even as the year 2011 draws to a close and we as people prepare to journey into the year 2012, racism seems to be alive and kicking. If you were to go into a small southern backwater sort of town, then I’m sure you might expect to see a bit of racism here or there; especially if you drive into town and you’re a black man or a black woman, Asian or Middle-Eastern. Then not only would you see the racism, but you’d feel it as well. You don’t really expect to deal with racism when you leave your home to go to the grocery store, the bank, your local library, or other places you know and frequent, but it’s not at all impossible. On place in particular one would think that racism wouldn’t exist is in the gay community.

An excerpt taken from the post of a blogger known as Mama’s Boy posted on  August 10th, 2009: “In Phoenix where the black population is less than 6% you can definitely see the racism in the community.

Most white guys out here dont have anything to do with communities of color, but want a black/latin/asian guy to satisfy their “curiosity” or their desire to have sex with the forbidden fruit. Nothing more than a sexual prize. They dont have any people of color as friends, dont go to cultural celebrations, and look at you crazy if your in a mostly all white gay club, like why are you here, but want to “taste some chocolate”.

I myself have come across some in the gay community who say things like ” I’ve never been with a black guy before, but I’ve always wanted to try it.” As innocent as that may sound, I agree with Mama’s Boy. All it makes me feel like is a sexual prize or a thing of curiosity to be figured out and discarded.

Upon reading up on the subject of racism in the gay community, I came across a gentleman by the name of  Jamez Smith. One night Jamez took a trip to a bar by the name of the 19 Bar in a place called Loring Park in Minneapolis, MN. Apparently while there, he had met up with a young man who seemed to be quite interested in him, and the interest was reciprocated. As their conversation progressed and the liquor flowed Jamez was invited to the other mans car to listen to music, then to his apartment for a nightcap. James agreed. That sounds all good and well, and probably no different from the night of any number of club goers or bar goers, but things changed once smith was told Don’t steal from me.”

Now why would you think something like that would be randomly said to Jamez? If you hadn’t guessed, Jamez is a black male. Of course he greeted what had been said to him with disbelief; and what was the reaction of the man who’d said it? “What? Oh my god, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s just what you’re wearing.” To me.. that stinks of cop-out. What reason would this man have to believe that Jamez Smith, a complete stranger who he’d just met that very night would steal from him? Would he have said those same words to him had Jamez been white? That’s something that can only be guessed, but my guess is no.

On another occasion Jamez was said to have encountered the ugly face of racism not too long after. While in a chat room on  Gay.com for the Twin Cities, he came across this conversation which has been edited by the City Pages News:

“too many blacks have the i hate the white man thing going on, and I’m not into that

and a 15yo black dude should not have that kinda hate

its taught to him

shoot him


pop a cap in his ass”

What kind of people say things like this? Racists. Regardless of whether or not they believe themselves to be racists or whether or not they believe their words to be racist and hateful.. they are.

Racism in the gay community isn’t just face to face. Like the rest of civilization, it’s online as well. When it comes to online racism, nowhere is it more noticeable than on dating and “hookup” sites and apps, and it’s not just against blacks. Whatever ethnicity you are, you have the possibility of facing some sort of racism. I’ve seen it against white, black, Asian…you name it.  On the gay app known as Grindr, the profile of one JJ. Sk8ter Boy reads: “I’m a big kid at heart”  … sounds innocent enough I’d suppose, but it goes on to say this in his description: “I’m blocking more Asians on here than the Great Wall Of China!” If confronted, he would likely play it off by saying it was all a joke. “It isn’t. It’s an insidious sort of racism couched in humor, one that winks at the notion that it’s okay to denigrate Asians or Indians or blacks simply because they’re Asians or Indians or blacks and getting messages from them on Grindr — or having them come up to you in a bar — is just too icky.” – Terry Levine writes in a blog/article entitled “THE QUEER CASE OF RACISM IN THE GAY COMMUNITY.” If you have to start your profile description with “I’m not racist, but” then I’m fairly sure you’re racist. Whether you’re a black male who will only date other black males, forsaking every single ethnicity out there despite the fact that everyone; regardless of their ethnicity or skin tone is different in looks, the way they think, and the way they go about expressing themselves, a white male who “isn’t racist, but”, or you simply can’t get around the issue of ethnicity… you sir are racist. It’s more than an opinion, it’s a fact.

If all of that wasn’t enough, there’s the issue of  some sort of invisible chasm between the gays and lesbians of the LGBT community. It can be summed up by this excerpt from a video posted on youtube.com  by one entitled ” Racism and Division in the Gay Community ” and states “Too often in the past I’ve run into racism in the gay community and tense relations between gay men and lesbians. This irritates me, especially when we should be unified against the opposition we face.”

I completely agree with him on this. We should be unified as a community; gay, bi, lesbian, transgendered, black, white, Asian, Hispanic and all else. There’s too much hatred out there against those who are in the community for us all to be going at one another as we do.

This is a message to the gay community..  If we as a community wish to be treated with love, understanding, tolerance, respect, and acceptance, we must first learn to practice what we preach.