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Racism rife under gay men

07 December 2012, 14:25

Recently there were two letters written to News24. The first was an experience of a white guy taking a foreign black guy to hospital due to his injury and how they were badly treated due to the injured man’s citizenship.  The injured man is from another part of Africa. The letter was written to show the alleged xenophobic attitude of blacks. 

Then there was another letter written by a man who wrote about how it was too late to come out to his father. First of all, let me say that his father would have been happy to see his son happy. That’s what most parents want. I also think this author shared something deeply personal with us.  Good on him.  

However, that letter resulted in some homophobic response by some straight people.  There was also some shocking response by gays to that letter. One of the responses to the first letter was a gay guy who came out to say how racist blacks are against foreign blacks and whites are not racist like the blacks are xenophobic.  This gay guy in response to the second letter (written by the gay man) uses words like “queen”, “pu..y”, “retard”, etc. I think this itself shows homophobic behaviour from his gay man.  Why use these types of words? Are some men less of a man because they tend to be effeminate by your personal standards?  Is it really okay to call someone a retard? The same gay gentleman (not the author of the second letter) talks about how insulting is the word umlungu but is oblivious to how insulting are some of his words to gays.

When I was talking about these two letters to a gay friend of mine (who happens to be white), he mentioned that racism and homophobic behaviour among gay men is astounding.  Let me explain this further.  Gay men often rank themselves in order of effeminate behaviour and the more masculine ones will often scorn the more effeminate ones.  For example, apparently on gay dating sites, there will be explicit statements about “no queens must contact them” or they will list which races may contact them.  Very often these statements are written in a demeaning, insulting manner.  So I appeal to those racist in the gay community (whether white, black or all shades in-between), fix your house.  Because without you stopping your discrimination, it is hard to convince others not to discriminate you.  Stop the demeaning behaviour that you show to effeminate gays and gays of other race groups. If you do not prefer to date someone of another race group, there is no reason to write it in a demeaning manner or to treat a gay of another race group in a bad manner.

In the US, there was a campaign to stop people saying “that’s so gay”.  We should stop these types of insult here in SA too. Unlike the US, we have been fortunate here in that there hasn’t been a spate of gay-teenage suicides. Let’s keep it that way. Please stop the insults.

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