A Facebook group for so-called ‘muscle bears’ was called out for stopping Asian and African men from joining.
Muscle Bear is a public Facebook group dedicated to muscular and hairy men, or bears. The group counts more than 18,000 members.
But the group has come under fire after it began vetting African and Asian men and instructed them they were not welcome to sign up.
Upon joining, interested Facebook users have to answer two questions, one of which would asks where they’re from. A third question that has now been deleted warned African and Asian men against applying to join, saying: “If you are Asian or African do not join the group because it will be blocked from this group.”
Members of the group complained about the question, with many saying such a stipulation did not exist when they joined the group themselves and that they were not aware it existed.
Some members are now asking others to quit the group and report Muscle Bear.
“As a member, this makes us all appear to be racists by being complicit,” one member Matt Consola wrote, as reported by San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.
“Just no-one will address the matter. So if you know the admins, I’m asking people to reach out and ask why this has been added. And if it’s not removed, I’m asking people to quit and report the group as hate speech.”
About 500 members have left the community since the question was flagged.
Racism in the LGBT+ community is widespread. A late June Stonewall report revealed that a majority of black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) people felt discriminated against by the rest of the community based on their origins. The report is based on a YouGov poll of 5,000 BAME LGBT+ people.
Black people were the prime sufferers, with 61 percent of respondents saying they had experienced discrimination.
This form of anti-BAME behaviour manifests itself on online groups, dating apps and in the streets.
“This research gives a worrying insight into just how serious a problem prejudice is within our community, and we need to talk about it,“ said chief executive at Stonewall UK Ruth Hunt.
“Users of dating apps will be familiar with phrases like ‘No blacks, no Asians’ and ‘No chocolate, no curry, no rice, no spice’ becoming the modern-day versions of ‘No blacks, no dogs, no Gypsies.’”
Trans people also suffered discrimination, with 36 percent of trans respondents saying they’ve experienced discrimination from within the community.