80 percent of black gay men say they have experienced racism in the gay community, according to a survey by gay men’s charity GMFA.
The charity’s publication FS Magazine surveyed over 850 black and minority ethnic (BME) men who also identify as gay.
The results were shocking – with more than two-thirds of BME men experiencing racism on the gay scene – climbing to 80 percent among men who identified as black.
The survey found that 80% of Black men, 79% of Asian men, 75% of South Asian men, and 64% of mixed race men have personally experienced racism on the gay scene.
47-year-old Wayne recounted one incident, telling the magazine: “The only approach I’ve had at a gay bar was when I was asked if I supplied drugs.
“Terrible behaviour that was not only insulting, but humiliating, since I thought the approach made was due to a romantic intent.”
46-year-old Londoner Sarwar added: “I have been made to feel excluded in gay bars where bar staff ignored me, or doormen asking if I got their order for takeaway.
“A drag queen selected me to humiliate in public, by saying I should cover my beard or the crowd will get nervous.
“Gay publications do not promote LGBTQ men of colour, only Black/mixed-race men. There is a diversity of men of colour that gay publications fail to highlight.”
Men also reported experiencing frequent racist abuse on Grindr and other hook-up apps.
Author Vernal Scott told the magazine: “I experience crap from both angles. I can’t say one hurts less than the other if you find yourself racially profiled on one hand, and then made to feel like an outcast in a gay club – or trying to get into one! But life must go on.
“We have to learn to feel good about ourselves on the inside, despite external challenges. We have no choice but to stand on our own two feet.”
GMFA’s Matthew Hodson said: “There are significantly higher rates of suicide, self-harm and mental ill health among Black gay and bisexual men.
“Of course you can’t just say this is purely the result of sexual stereotyping or experiencing racism on the gay scene, but it is clear that there is a major health challenge here which needs to be addressed.
“We also see higher rates of HIV among Black gay and bisexual men, despite data which suggests that there isn’t much difference in risk behaviour or HIV knowledge between Black gay men and white gay men.
“It comes down to treating each other with respect.
“I don’t know that the gay community is any more racist than any other section of society, but it’s clear that there are some people on the scene who hold vile and completely unacceptable views.
“As gay men we all know what it’s like to be marginalised, to be outsiders and members of a minority. We’ve all experienced prejudice and discrimination first hand. It’s sad and pathetic that we still inflict the same on other members of our community.”