Racist, Fem-shaming, Ageist Gay Men
Being gay isn’t enough in the gay community, or being a genuinely nice person either. More specifically, the gay-white-male bunch often are found judging gays based on their race, age, and how feminine they come off as. However, the opposite is also common where men are fetishizing. Even jokes about the white gay stereotype are found trending Twitter because of their painfully comedic truths. The most common place where men are judged is the application Grindr.
What is Grindr?
Grindr was released in 2009 by Joel Simkhai. Since then, the app has skyrocketed in success, becoming well known and essential to members of the LGBTQ+ community. The app can be used for chats and dates, but is mainly used for hookups. The app allows the user to put in their personal information — height, weight — also known as “stats”. The information goes as far as categorizing yourself into a “tribe”. Describing yourself as a bear, twink, otter, fem, and the list goes on. As convenient as this has become, a strong whiff of misogyny and racism has contaminated Grindr throughout the years.
James Dawson, author of This Book is Gay, explains gay misogyny fairly well. He introduces Alan Downs, American therapist and author of The Velvet Rage, who believes that some gay men behave in such a way because of internalized homophobia. Dawson summarizes “He [Downs] believes that we are seeking external validation through physical acceptance by sexual partners”. The biggest point Dawson is trying to make is not that all gay men are crazy sex freaks, but rather:
“It’s all about CHOICES, and I believe everyone should be able to live the way they want to live as long as they don’t hurt anyone else OR THEMSELVES in the process.”
Although Dawson makes it clear that there is nothing wrong with having multiple sex partners — through safe sex of course — disrespecting other people based on race is not okay. Most users try to use “preference” as an excuse for their bigotry. Matthew Rodriguez describes another in depth explanation about white gay superiority in his article, “Here’s One Brutal Truth Every White Gay Man Needs to Hear”. Rodriguez states:
“…The social privilege of the whiteness still affords them a disproportionate amount of power in the gay community.”
He claims that since we are born the way we are, it is the fundamentals of our upbringing that sprouts these ideals. A white man therefore has grown up with entitlement and privileges, giving him the opportunity to be the face of the gay community.
What To Do
Calling out racism is unfortunately the only thing that can be done, as nice as it would be to convert a racist, some racism is subconscious and unintentional. Being assertive and confrontational is major as a community, we need to not be weak. Shutting down stereotypes not only informs a person, but it also makes you grow as a person. We have all been victims of stereotyping, but that doesn’t make it okay. The sooner we all come to realizing that will make us all a little bit less judgmental, and everyone a little bit nicer.
Daniel Ryan is a college student who aspires to be a performer, but is also exploring the world of creative writing and journalism.