Sexual racism encounter #74

29 11 2016

On Grindr:

Him: I’m Italian Canadian. What’s your ethnicity?
Me: (hesitantly) I’m Chinese. May I ask how old you are?

Five seconds later, the conversation disappears. I’ve been blocked.

On the outside

31 07 2015

I’ve always considered myself to be part of the gay community. I read Xtra! and followed the news. I joined local organizations and volunteered. I walked up and down Davie Street, among my people.

But for many years now, I’ve constantly felt invisible, ignored, and degraded by the same community. As sad and hurt as I was, I still read Xtra! hoping for the day there’d be an article about sexual racism. I vainly wished to be acknowledged as an important part of the community.

It never really happened. (and the sexual racism article definitely never happened)

Yet, I still had hope that they’d take notice to all this.

Tonight, at the Davie Street Block Party, I realized something. As I looked at all the different faces and people in their own little groups and cliques, I couldn’t help but feel it was futile trying to include myself in a community that seemed like they didn’t want me. It’s like being the kid at school who constantly tries to hang out with another group of kids and says something like, “Hey, guys! What’re we playing today?” The other kids stare, then all hang out together. But the other kid doesn’t get the hint.

Maybe all these years, I’ve been missing the hint, that I’m not welcome. Maybe it’s better I not tell myself I’m a part of this community, that I’m just some gay guy living in Vancouver.

Racists feel hurt too

8 05 2015

Called out a guy who said he “wasn’t into Asian guys” as a racist. He told me it was “hurtful” and that I was “extreme.” I thought that was funny that he was playing the victim, but did my best to calmly explain to him that sexual attraction is not “simply chemicals in the brain”, but that sexuality is complex and has influences, including porn, hypermasculinity, and femmephobia. I don’t think he really cared though. Oh well.

I want to make another film

9 03 2015

I’m thinking of making a documentary short about racism in the gay community. God knows it’s an intrinsic problem that most don’t even see as a problem. I have some ideas of how to proceed and what to film, but the time and effort that’ll go into making it is already daunting to me (as someone who has previously made documentary shorts).

Oh, and a budget would be nice but we all know the chance of that happening is pretty much impossible.

Cold War

5 12 2014

This makes me cry.

What makes the night

29 12 2013

Convincing a fellow gay that language like “no Asians” is indeed racist language that has harmful and negative consequences. Yesssssssssssss!

Dear Gay Guys: What “Preferences” Really Are

22 11 2013

There’s something about the “It’s just a preference” defence that really gets under my skin. So many gay men use this as an excuse for their racist and homophobic/femmephobic remarks, as though it exonerates them from all wrongdoing.

It doesn’t.

I’ve been thinking about what this word “preference” actually means.

preference | ˈprɛf(ə)r(ə)ns | noun

a greater liking for one alternative over another or others: her preference for white wine | he chose a clock in preference to a watch.

a thing preferred: nearly 40 per cent named acid house as their musical preference.

from Latin praeferre ‘carry in front’

See, my problem with gays who are using this word to defend their shitty attitudes is that THEY ARE USING IT WRONG! As usual, THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE WORD MEANS.

Not surprising, is it?

Preference is the word to use when you like more than one thing, but like one or more of those things more than others on the list. It’s like ice cream. You like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies & cream. If you didn’t have a choice you’d be happy with any of those flavours. But if there was a choice, you’d prefer chocolate.

A sexual preference is no different. You might find Asian, Black and Latino guys attractive, but your preference, if given the choice, is Asian. Or you may have a preference for really butch masculine men, but also some that are not so masculine do it for you on occasion.

So to say you have a preference, in the spirit of the word, is to say you pretty much have an open mind to a variety of things. Or at least to more than one thing.

Yet, as we all know, there’s a lot of gay men out there who have absolutely no attraction to anything other than WHITE, HYPER-MASCULINISED MEN. And when these guys try to defend themselves using the word “preference”, they are not genuine in the slightest. There’s no preference there at all, and they are hiding behind words they don’t even understand.

The word they are looking for, but refuse to use, is REQUIREMENT.

requirement | rɪˈkwʌɪəm(ə)nt | noun

a thing that is needed or wanted: only one type of window fits the requirements of this building.

a thing that is compulsory; a necessary condition: applicants must satisfy the normal entry requirements.

A thing that is compulsory. A thing that is wanted. COMPULSORY. WANTED.


Why do you think we don’t hear, “It’s just a requirement?” I can tell you why. Because for the everyday gay, that word doesn’t feel so easy to hide behind as preference. Preference sounds so benign, so unobtrusive, so open-minded, so nice.

“Oh no, we’re not trying to tell anyone how they should be, we really believe all the diverse people of the rainbow community are equal, we’re just expressing our personal preferences.”

No, you’re not. You’re demanding whiteness and straight-actingness, to hell with anyone that doesn’t fit your neat little manufactured ideal of hotness. And you’re hiding behind a word that doesn’t apply to you, in order to make yourself feel less like the total arsehole you truly are.

If there was a more balanced representation of requirements in our community, if there were more races and gender-expressions promoted as “hot” over a sustained period of time, rather than just the one version, things wouldn’t be so bad. This really wouldn’t be such an issue. But with the white masculine male promoted as the overwhelming frontrunner in the attraction stakes, these requirements have the stench of “master race” written all over them.

So I say STOP listing your requirements altogether. STOP calling those requirements “preferences”. START removing language you KNOW offends others. If you’ve been conditioned to find only one “type” of man attractive, so be it. But STOP promoting that conditioned attraction as a personal “preference” because it isn’t. Not even slightly. In fact, you have no “preferences” at all, since you have been brainwashed into thinking only one thing is “hot”. And every time you put that one thing on a pedestal, anyone not fitting into your narrow definition of hotness feels like rubbish.

Sexual racism exhausts me

13 11 2013

Spent the day asking friends about their views on racism in the gay community and many of them don’t see “NO ASIANS” as a problem. In fact, they think it’s acceptable, which was incredibly infuriating and frustrating. Tried not to get overwhelmed and upset and tried to diffuse the conversations with questions (“Why do you think that?” “How might you feel if someone said, ‘Not into white guys’?”) but then that just lead to more angering words. It’s the end of the day and I’m just exhausted .

Who would’ve thought arguing with people could be so draining. All in a day’s work, I suppose.


Douchebags of Grindr

16 05 2013

What an amazing site this is, full of such a broad spectrum of different kinds of douchebaggery as well as intelligent people who converge and rant about how awful gay men really are. I love it.

If there’s one thing I really dislike about the gay community, it’s the amount of racism that goes on. I don’t know how many “not into Asians” I’ve read on gay hookup sites, or even online dating sites. It’s utterly appalling, mostly because they somehow get away with it. And then these people have the nerve to be offended when others are offended at their offensive words.

I found these two comments on douchebagsofgrindr that I think really sum up why it’s not acceptable to say such mean things:

1. “If you exclude an entire race of people from your dating pool you are, by definition, a RACIST. It’s one thing to have a preference, but NO blacks NO asians is just racism. How can you know you won’t be into someone until you meet them…unless you’re a racist?

Truth hurts, doesn’t it, racists?

2. “No, it’s racism dressed up as preference. You are okay to be raising the point about preference – but there is a piece missing in people’s understanding of the subject matter.

Anyone who has spent any substantial amount of time in a foreign culture will automatically understand.

Once you go through an ‘acclimitisation’ phase, suddenly, your attraction evolves. What seemed mishappen, different, unattractive shifts. Perception is powerful. In India, Indians start to seem hot after a while and in Asia, likewise.

People are falsely assuming that there is an ‘absolute’ hegemonic, invariant ‘beauty’.

There actually isn’t! And our disgusting words ‘no Asians’ or worse ‘no Rice’ is simply vomitronic language – harmful to the reader – and to non-Asians in more insidious ways for the normalising of racial abuse.”

Thank you, douchebagsof grindr, for such in-depth sociological discussions of life.

Naturally alone

23 03 2010

I first came out when I was 14.

I told my mom at 16.

I told my dad at 18.

I am 21 years old now, and I’ve been in one relationship that lasted 4 months.  To me, the math doesn’t add up.

Throughout my years, I’ve read countless books about gay youth and adults alike.  A lot of gay teen novels (and true stories as well) involve a guy meeting another guy who “knows” and they go off and elope or whatnot.  In my case, nothing near that has ever happened.  Was it wrong for me to think that after I came out, I’d meet more gay folks like myself and amongst them, maybe find someone I could really see myself with?  I didn’t think so.  It seems quite logical and judging by the frequently told stories of fiction and non-fiction, it would seem to be reality.

But it didn’t happen to me and I’ve really wondered why.

I wouldn’t catergorize myself as a real Chinese person, since I don’t necessarily follow the customs and my Cantonese isn’t the greatest.  I don’t have much, if any, “honger” friends because they’re just not my crowd.  On the other hand, I was born here and would identify myself more Canadian than Chinese but I’m not completely white-washed.  I also don’t have a lot of Canadian (ie. caucasian) friends and I can’t help but feel like my ethnicity is partly at fault for this.  Sure, a large part is due to the fact that I can be shy around people (which is natural), but is it something deeper?  Am I being stereotyped as a typical Chinese (ie. “honger’) simply because I’m Asian?  And since Asians carry a certain type of idea (ie. awesome at math, mediocre English, bottoms who are into white guys/older men), maybe I get lumped in with that.  Otherwise, what else is there?

I like to think that I’m somewhat interesting; I have an interest in artsy things and I have a decent kind of humour.  I’m a really good listener and I’m a romantic, despite being a little jaded.  But perhaps all these work against me.  And I don’t think I’m completely hideous either.

My conclusion: perhaps I’m this weird mish-mash of Chinese and Canadian that people don’t know how to deal with.

I don’t appeal to the Asians because I’m not really Asian (also, I find there is a little bit of a language barrier because some guys are learning English and it’s obviously not the same) and everyone else thinks I’m just another Chinese guy without giving me the chance to really show them otherwise.

I think a significant part is also that people are sexually racist, and I’ve seen it.  Go on craigslist to the personals.  In the men for men section, you don’t have to click on many adds until you find one that says “I’m not into Asians.  No offense, it’s just a preference.”  Well, I, for one, am offended.  Eliminating an entire race sexually like that is ridiculous to me.  Not all Asians are the same, as caucasians, blacks, etc.  Even before I say “Hi.  How’s it goin?”, I’m not going to be considered.  My friends tell me people are douches, and yes, in this case, they are.  One friend told me that these people aren’t worth my time; but similarly, I’m not worth theirs.  And I don’t find this fair.

Perhaps this sexual racism carries over to people long term relationships.  I message people who I think are interesting (there really aren’t that many people) who seem friendly enough and say things like, “If you wanna know more, just shoot me a message :)” and I take that as my cue to say hi.  But despite my wittiness and personalizing each message, the majority of the time, I don’t receive a response, which leads me to think not what is wrong with them, but what is wrong with me.

Am I not even worth a conversation?  Maybe I’m not just their type, and I can understand that.  But if they’re excluding me simply because of a stereotype or because of race, well, I can’t help that.

You would think I shouldn’t care about this.  But I do.

Every time I send a message to someone, I think about whether or not they’ll respond.

I still hold my breath.