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When it comes to racism and discrimination, I often feel it's a double whammy being gay and African-American or gay and any ethnicity or just simply gay. There are many levels of racism and discrimination that are still present today and many of us experience it often. From time to time I hear people claim that racism no longer exists, but I beg to differ. I was called the "N" word for the first time when I was 12. I was called a fag for the first time when I was 15. I was called both the "N" word and a fag at the same time when I was 20. Dealing with racism is one thing, but dealing with racism coupled with discrimination is another.

Some instances of racism aren't as blatant as in the past, but subtle innuendos are still present (Just the other day while checking into a $300 a night hotel, instead of directing me toward the front desk, the bellman told me they only accepted applications at the service entrance). Levels of racism can come from individuals in other communities or surprisingly from within the same community.

So, what about racism within the gay community? Can such a thing exist when gay people themselves are often victims of some form of hate? Are there levels of racism that are justified or acceptable? Are people too sensitive about racism or not sensitive enough? Can a gay person be homophobic? Will we ever live in a society without some form of racism or discrimination? Share your comments below or join the discussion.

Suggested Reading: Photo courtesy of Len Nguyen.
Comments
July 12, 2008 at 8:55 pm
(1) Emprice says:

It makes me upset to know that there is a fair percentage of racism in the gay community. It upsets me because I feel as though we should know better in the LGBT community. I know that racism is everywhere and most likely will never die down, but being gay/lesbian or bisexual or transgendered is hard enough. Shouldnt we know better? If a gay or lesbian is walking down the street and the gay/lesbian person of a race that they “do not like” is in need of help, what are they going to do? It sadens me that I dont know the answer to this, because its scary/confusing. Maybe my words and other ppls words will hit a cord in someone.

August 30, 2008 at 10:12 pm
(2) Deb says:

I do agree with you in many ways but maybe you are being a bit of a martyr about the 300$ hotel issue.

maybe it was just fashion discrimination, maybe you were just dressed like someone who can’t afford a 300$ a night hotel…

but then again, that’s just what i think. cuz it used to very blatant years ago, but now I havent bumped into discrimination like that in ages, im not african american, im latin and it’s just as hard for me. it’s even worse, cuz latin people are more the kind that would be discriminated and told ‘the maid occupations are down by the hall’…

November 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm
(3) Anne says:

Ah racism within the Lesbian community. Where does one start on this topic. Yes, it does exist. I personally over the last twenty years or so of my gay life have witnessed it displayed among white lesbians Latinas, and women of color. All towards eachother.

I am a woman of color (I’m Black) who is open and who has dated women of all races. I have had long term relationships with white women as well as latin women and trust me when we take our clothes off we all have the same body parts. All our lips are just as sweet and all of our hearts break the same. No one race cry’s more tears than the other and we all simply want to be loved, adored and living within a mutually respectable relationship.
I initially am attracted to not the color of your skin but simply the type of energy your radiate. From there its your conversation that pulls me in and thereafter your character that keeps me there.
When dating women of other races. White women. I consistently notice the stares and comments from both white and blacks. I consistently get comments from white women that they’ve never dated a black woman before but they would date me. Or I constantly hear comments such as your black but your not really black (what the hell does that mean). To all of this I am so sick of it all that I could vomit.

If all of us would simply stop
pre-judging and stereotyping others solely based on the color of their skin you might not have so many sad, lonely and single lesbians within our community. There is love out there to be found you simply have to be open to looking for it sometimes outside of your comfort zone and immediate pre-judging circle of friends. Try it!…You never know. You might just make a great friend or even find the love of your life.

January 16, 2009 at 2:00 am
(4) not so sure says:

Really? You’re going to go there? I lived in D.C. in the 1980’s. Try writing about Homophobia in the African-American community. Try writing about racism in the African-American community. And when you’re done with that, try writing about the nepotism of the African-American community.

Those are REAL issues.

February 23, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(5) down2earth210 says:

I so tired of “two-wrongs-makes-it-right” mentality by those who are called out on their issues. Racism – all racism – is wrong. Period. This isn’t a article that attempts to reconcile ALL maladies of society, specifically it addresses racism in the LBGT community – which certainly exists. Because I say murder is wrong, I don’t imply that any other crime is right simply because I don’t address other crimes at the time I’m discussing murder.

Racism in the gay community is a real issue.

So “not so sure” when you’re done assigning blame and casting judgment, re-read what’s been posted and try to view what’s being said not as a victim of other prejudice, but rather as someone who can empathize with the effect of prejudice.

Food for thought.

June 12, 2009 at 11:46 am
(6) Peter Griggs says:

Just say “NO” to racism, facism and “preferences” that veil hatred…when a situation comes up – NAME IT! Be outspoken, and do not stand for it! We need to nip this one in the bud, and talking about it – does not work anymore….ACTION is the way things get done.

July 16, 2009 at 8:57 pm
(7) Ben says:

Yeah gays should know better than to be racist, but blacks should also know better not to discriminate against gays as well considering their fight.

July 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm
(8) Joe says:

@ Ben – Going by your logic, gays should know better not to discriminate against minorities considering their fight. Can you say, “double standard?”

September 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm
(9) Z Zing says:

Racism is RIFE in the queer community for lack of a better term. The irony and consistent inculcated viewpoint that whiter is righter has never been more prevalent than frequenting gays bars, restaurants and stores of the ilk. And then the gay media – oh lord, the hypocrisy at play is even worse and to piggyback on the work of civil rights – I mean really now! I’ve taken the stand that it’s not my duty to dismiss anyone’s bigotry and have taken an ACTIVE standout from so-called queer establishments which even more bizarre are for the most part straight owned. So if you want humanity, become it and remove yourself from these falsities sold as “community” and stand for yourself with the dignity creation has bestowed upon you. It may feel strange at first but well worth the reward to find your strength than to turn to a bunch of clueless asses that haven’t achieved a god damn thing since the inception of “community”.

May 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm
(10) Ravi says:

Tell me all about it. As a gay Arab I’ve experienced this a lot. Forget about hookups; even stricking a conversation about hockey or the weather tends to get you all kind of stares. I find this especially true in places where white older men dominate. So much for pride and diversity.

June 13, 2010 at 4:05 am
(11) Aleksandra says:

I’m used to think that racists, sexists, homophobes and other kinds of xenophobes are sides of the same thing. Gays know so well what it is to be discriminated, that’s why I thought gay community is so tolerant. Just another stereotype.

November 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm
(12) Isaiah says:

I came from a very diverse high school and progressive family so I wrongly assumed that race was a non-issue. I don’t know how many times I’ve watch Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and I’ve also read “Why We Can’t Wait” by King. Race always seemed so trivial and unimportant to me but at my mostly white university I found that dating was far more difficult than it should have been. I’m black and I’m not one of those guys that would never date a black guy, I don’t care and have never cared but I found out quickly that people didn’t share my progressive opinions on race. Ignored ignored and ignored again…and not to toot my own horn but I’m a freakin hot guy and it didn’t make sense to me. The black gay population here is basically non-existent as well. When I did find someone he saw me as some kind of trophy, I remember actually calling me “his gay black sexy man”. Needless to say I ended that pretty quick. So does racism exist in the gay “community”? Yes yes yes and yes some more. It’s so unfortunate too because race is so very trivial.

December 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm
(13) josiah barlev says:

Homosexual activism was started by white male homosexuals. Its birth coincided with the on set of desegregation. Was this a mere coincidence? I don’t think so, for if it was a coincidence, then why did not occur at some other time? For instance why not in 1860, or 1776, or 1, or any other time before the 1st century? The answer is obvious, racist white homosexual activists were reacting to desegregation. They did not want segregation to end. So that by coming out they were making bold statement that if it was okay to be a person of color then it was also okay to be a homosesual. Effectively, they were saying that to be ahomosexual is a lesser evil than being someone of color.
This is more insulting than being called by the N-word and yet people of color do not see it like that. White homosexual activism is in itself a hate crime. White homosexual activists are the worst racists of all white people. This is explains why racism is rampant in the homosexual community. It is politically incorrect for a white homosexual to be openly homosexual to people of color. This fact ought to be inacted into a law.

February 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm
(14) Will says:

Brilliant observation. Please finish this thesis of yours by witing a book. I believe many views would be challenged, but lives enriched, if you can prove this idea to be true.

February 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm
(15) Will says:

Brilliant observation. Please finish this thesis of yours by witing a book. I believe many views would be challenged, but lives enriched, if you can prove this idea to be true.

January 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm
(16) Kori says:

Hunny I feel ya! I am a bisexual teen, I get discriminated against EVERYDAY, and not just by my peers. I hear teachers snicker behind my back and even my family, It hurts to think that even my own family can’t be supportive. I just breathe in and deal with it. It’s who I am, who I will always be. I am doing an Essay for school on the Gay community and I am adding personal stories and comments. I hope you don’t mind, but I am using yours. Be strong.

February 20, 2011 at 10:07 am
(17) jack says:

Ramon, thanks so much for writing this article. Anyway, I’m Asian, and at first I thought I was alone in thinking this, but there have been other people talking about the same thing recently. It’s quite real. If I go to a “normal” club or bar, usually the people are much more approachable. But, in a gay club, there’s this air of superiority (often subtle, but real), from many people, the majority of them white young caucasians who will simply refuse mingle with any other races even if just to have a friendly conversation and nothing more.

March 25, 2011 at 3:29 am
(18) Cheryl says:

It would seem to make sense that people who are discriminated against would understand and have enough empathy for other people so as not to discriminate against another minority. But really, why would anyone discriminate against anyone? I can’t really expect people of color to be better than any other groups, and I don’t expect LGBT people to be better either. Every group has people who are bigoted. Truly, we are equal—there are mean people in every population. And good people in every group as well. I fight for justice for all. Not because anyone is automatically better. But we all deserve to be judged on who we are as individuals, good or bad or just plain human without being held up as an example of a group. Sometimes persons who have been marginalized end up knowing extreme compassion and kindness and empathy for others. But not always. We are all human.

April 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm
(19) Is it just me says:

I’m a person of color and having lived in DC i’ve noticed a racial hierarchy in gay culture. From most accepted to least accepted:

1. White
2. Black/ East Asian/ Latino
3. South Asian/ Middle Eastern

What do you think?

May 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm
(20) jarjar says:

Racist gays deserve to die. How dare they fight for their rights but deny those rights to people of color.

May 22, 2011 at 4:02 am
(21) LGBT says:

I’ll just say it’s great by people in the gay community that partake in rasicm of any form or fashsion.I guess that just goes to show how ridiculous some typical mentalities in the community can be,LOL!! GAY PEOPLE INDULGING IN RACISM WHEN IT’S PEOPLE THAT ROAM ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE THAT WOULD KILL ONE AND MANY JUST BEHIND THAT LIFESTYLE TO BEGIN WITH,LOL..DONT EVEN ATTEMPT TO FEEL BAD WHEN GAYS ARE DISCRIMINTAED AND CERTAIN OBSTACLES THAT LOOM OVER THE COMMUNITY AND/OR HATE CRIMES AND HEINOUS FORCE IS USED, AND THIS ESPECIALLY GOES FOR THE ALL HETROS OUT THERE THAT PROBABLY AND/OR MAY JUST BE HAVING SOME COMPASSION AND SYMPATHY TO SUCH ACTS> DONT,LET EM WAR INTERNALLY AND CONITINUE SPREADING HIV/AIDS AND DESTROYING EACHOTHER AS IT’S THEIR NORM,ITS THE TRUTH.
(NO SUGAR COATING IT)SO LAUGH AND HAVE A DRINK TO IT!!

May 22, 2011 at 4:08 am
(22) LGBT says:

Lets just say its great by people in the gay community that partake in rasicm of any form or fashsion.I guess that just goes to show how ridiculous some typical mentalities in the community can be.LOL GAY PEOPLE INDULGING IN RACISM WHEN ITS PEOPLE THAT ROAM ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE THAT WOULD KILL ONE AND MANY JUST BEHIND THAT LIFESTYLE/ECETRA PERIOD TO BEGIN WITH LOL.DONT EVEN ATTEMPT TO FEEL BAD WHEN GAYS ARE DISCRIMINTAED UPON AND CERTAIN OBSTACLES THAT LOOM OVER THE COMMUNITY AND/OR HATE CRIMES AND SERIOUS INFLICTIONS HEINOUS ACTS ARE EXPRESSED TOWARDS THE COMMUNITY AND THIS ESPECIALLY GOES FOR ALL HETROS OUT THERE THAT PROBABLY AND/OR MAY JUST BE HAVING SOME COMPASSION AND SYMPATHY TO SUCH ACTS> DONT,LET EM WAR INTERNALLY AND CONITINUE SPREADING THEIR HIGH RATE OF HIV/AIDS AND DESTROYING EACHOTHER AS IT’S THEIR NORM,ITS THE TRUTH.
(NO SUGAR COATING IT)SO LAUGH AND HAVE A DRINK TO IT ALL.ITS THE BEST TV SHOWS YOU CAN WATCH.

May 22, 2011 at 4:15 am
(23) LGBT says:

I do know how to pharse my explanations,lol, excuss the typos in last 2 postings,just not really concerned for the perfection but the message is pretty clear.

May 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm
(24) oldfoxbob says:

I grew up in the midwest, small town, all white and no minorities that I know of. My first contact (other than tv) with a black man, was when I joined the service in 1969. In basic training I really made a fool of my self when in the showers with 100 other guys of all races, I said “Damn man you are black all over”! The guy I said it to just looked at me and said ” Damn there are still hicks out there”! He was right. I was the fool, the hick, the ignoramus who did not know better then. Now of course I do. But you know he and I became best of friends and went to the next base together. I also held him when his legs got blown off and he died in my arms in Viet Nam. I will never for get him…but…that aside…I learned from him that there are only one race in the world. The Human race! There is no black, no white, no brown, no purple with green poke-a-dots!
There are “N word” in all races. Those are the stupid ones who make fools of them self and want to make race and issue. Its all crap. and its all stupid people who do not know better. And those who do NOT care. The Gays fit right in there when they too call people names, and discriminate and they of all people should know what discrimination is all about. Nuff said, and I apologize to any one who is too childish to not recognize that those words exist in the world.

January 17, 2012 at 2:09 am
(25) Jay says:

As a 22 year old gay Black male, I’ve faced more racism in the gay community than anywhere else. Love has no color, the discrimination needs to stop in order for us gays to have equal rights.

April 22, 2012 at 8:26 am
(26) kevin says:

For me, the world is filled with a lot of hypocrites ppl.They are so many campaign fighting against racism,homophobic and more but mostly ppl dont practice it. I have experience it. I was doing a drama about racism.They act like it was real.I was a minority group IN THE university.The next day, they started to talk bad about other races and how they think WHITE as a superior race.Not to mention, those arab ppl who thinks they will go to heaven.Everybody is guilty of racism. I know that i am not racist(i do practice it) becoz i am a mixture of other races. I mean, a cat and a dog can get along nowadays.Racism exist becoz fear other ones uniqueness.

October 9, 2012 at 5:54 am
(27) Shane says:

Im a gay black male and recently turned 33, and like Jay, i have experienced more racism in the GAY community than anywhere else. It seems to be a constant, almost to the point of being the NORM. And that really shouldnt be. I recently went to a pride event in New Orleans and STILL experienced it from other gays at the event. It was disheartening… but not discouraging as i still had a blast. But Honestly i have NO idea how to change it. The younger genration of gays seem to be even MORE racist than the gays i grew up with. Hopefully it something they will grow out of.

April 13, 2013 at 6:10 pm
(28) WhiteGuy says:

It’s hard to call somebody a racist just because they don’t date outside their race. It’s like saying all gay men are sexist and/or chauvinistic cause they aren’t attracted to women. Personally, I don’t date blacks, asians, middle easterners, indians, or any dark people, period because I’m just not attracted. It’s that simple. Do I hate them? No. Do I want to sleep with them or cuddle or share my most intimate moments? No!

June 18, 2013 at 4:11 am
(29) Mike says:

The first thing white people say when a coloured person talks about an example of sudden racism is”maybe it is this or that (instead of racism) by which they deny the existence of subtle racism and thereby dismiss the perception and experience and therefor humanity of black people. Black people “know”when it is happening to them. “We” have to be masters is identifying racism because it happens to us on a daily basis.

Whiteguy: the fact that you do not kill people of colour does not mean you are not racist. Note that your sexual orientation is congenital,your “(sexual) dislike” of people of colour is not. Your dislike was taught to you during your upbringing without you realising it, your gayness is not taught to you. You have a racist stance.

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