Hey there Guys,
Today I wanted to talk about an experience I had on my Facebook wall just this week.
Currently in Australia there is a lot of controversy about a coffee chain, Gloria Jean’s, that has been connected with a number of fundamentalist churches with homophobic aims. I posted an image that highlighted this and urged people to consider purchasing coffee from their local coffee merchant rather then this franchised, homophobic slop.
People were commenting in a usual manner when I then saw the following post:
Wait though, it gets better, just a few more comments down…
Well that was it, I was angry, thus the appalling spelling in this terse reply.
Of course not all racism is quite as overt. Within the gay world racism is rampant; simply logging into any of the gay pickup apps or sites and you can see many many displays of overt racist behavour. Sites like “Stop Racism & Internalised Homophobia” feature page after page of racist profiles thinly veiled as “just a sexual preference, no offence”.
While many gay men can understand that being called a “fucking faggot cunt” by a drunk is a form of bigotry, not all are able to understand that phrases like “no rice or spice”, as depicted above, is just as hurtful.
As described at Sexual Racism Sux, this has developed as people work to narrow in their field of potential “meets” on these services:
Personal profile services like Gaydar encourage people to be specific, so guys write things like “No Fats, Fems or GAMs” or “Not into hairy guys or GBMs, no offence” or “No whites, sorry!” in their profile. We write these things to help increase the number of contacts we want and decrease the number that we don’t.
What we don’t think about is how it feels for other men to read them. Imagine how it feels to read ad after ad that excludes you based solely on your race. Imagine for a moment, that you were in a minority in the country you were born in and kept reading apparently endless profiles saying you weren’t desirable. It just might ruin your day, mightn’t it? Do you really want to help make other men feel bad about themselves?
But there’s an alternative to this grumpy, negative kind of speech that just makes everyone feel sad and diminished. If we simply make positive, inclusive statements in our profiles, tell people what we do like, and deal politely with people who don’t turn us on, we’ve made a positive change. Try talking about the characteristics you’re into, not about the person’s race.
Some suggested ideas they have made include:
|“Not into hairy guys or GBMs, no offence”||“Really prefer guys with smooth, pale skin”|
|“No whites, sorry!”||“More comfortable with other black guys”|
|“No Fats, Fems or GAMs”||“Looking for slim, fit, masculine guys. Usually prefer men of [caucasian, latino, black] background” (although perhaps this guy should just get out more)|
Guys, it’s time we all took the time to think about what we say not just to each other but also to ourselves. Consider carefully the words placed into online profiles and social networks. They usually say much more about the author rather then the intended audience.
Yours in good health.