What is homonormativity? Simply is saying you’re not like other gay men, for example dismissing Asian men in the club because, while you respect Asian men, you’re “just not attracted” to them. Or thinking differently about someone you love social media, but you see they use a wheelchair. Homonormativity is gay men dominating queer television representation and white cis men playing transgender women. Or how a nation organized for gay marriage, but not for transgender lives. Homonormativity is a privileging set of hierarchies, social norms, and expectations that cause the oppressed to oppress one another.
It is everywhere. Permeating just about every fiber of queer life, ruining the community from inside out and top to bottom. It has become a set of rules used to decide which people in the queer community are the best. It dictates that men should be muscular and masculine, and women should be slender and feminine. To mimicking heterosexual by getting married, attend church, live in a suburban neighborhood or adopt children. These aspirations are not necessarily bad or negative, but they can determine traits and lifestyle choices such as who we interact with, who we help or support.
It has made gay marriage priority number one, as transgender people still cannot use a bathroom safely, viciously abused by the prison system and fired for being who they are. Homonormativity, in essence, wants to control how we feel about ourselves and others as it tries to attempt to morph the queer community into a heterosexual community.
Outside of elite, intellectual text homonormativity is not well known to the community and only because it takes a while to understand and often difficult to most people. This is a big deal!
When you find people who are trying to express the oppression they are feeling but can’t, you understand that the information is somehow inaccessible and has left an entire generation of queer people who don’t understand that shaming and disliking people who are feminine is wrong. As a gay man, I am somewhat feminine and I understand how cruel, ageist, racist and downright narcissistic gay men can be. I had to learn to navigate through the trauma and oppression which in turn allowed me to advocate for myself.
It’s important that we need homonormativity to lose power over us because it tears communities apart, wrecks lives and even kills. Homonormativity can explain why masculine gay men are often left alone, tolerated at worst and accepted at best, by society, while feminine gay men are still frequently attacked by aggressive mobs on the daily. It explains legislation against the transgender community based on accusations and stereotypes about them, and use the bathroom as the main issue for making them use the bathroom of their sex at birth.
The change in the community has to start within to be conscious about how we conduct ourselves in public and how we talk, both physically and online. Recognize our own privileges and adjust accordingly. It’s about letting queer people be queer people and just stop creating molds in a world that want us to be less like us.
It’s really just about understanding there is no right way to be gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Once we name homonormativity, understand its effects it loses control over us.
Written By: Patrick S. – Personal Opinion
I remember the first time I attended Pride I was in the honeymoon phase and it was like heaven to me. For the first time in my life, I was free to be myself and without judgment. I believed that Pride would connect me to other gay men and I could finally find a group of friends, friends I so desperately wanted. Let’s be honest what young, single man wouldn’t want to attend their first Pride?
But let’s be real about Pride, after a few alcohol-induced traumas, homonormative influences, and a few too many disappointed Pride’s, you have one person who is really done with the entire experience. There was a point that I attended as many as I could, too finally not attending any at all.
Now understand this didn’t happen overnight and to be honest, I can’t identify one particular thing that broke the “camel’s back” – truth be told it was several things over time that honestly took some time to settle in. I’m not trying to separate myself from the community, and I’ve never thought of myself as being better than anyone else because I don’t think defining ourselves by typical stereotypes or societal expectations is the smart thing to do. But there is no mistaking that Pride events have become commercialized and have to some extent lost its true meaning.
Most Pride Festivals have become about the party lifestyle and thrust upon us by businesses looking to cash in on our love of community. Take New Orleans Pride, I remember a time when it was held at Washington Park (on Elysian Fields Ave.). The community could come together and enjoy great food and music, hang with friends and just relax. But now it appears that just having a Pride Parade is what we are forced to endure, or you can go to several overhyped and overpriced events that have no true meaning. Where is the sense of community? The traditions of camaraderie and fellowship?
Another example is alcohol, for example, you can’t walk a block without hearing about drink specials, and for those who don’t drink Pride can be an awful experience. Absolut is a prime example of a company that capitalizes on Pride. Like many liquor companies they want to ensure that your Pride is the best experience of your life, and according to them what better way to celebrate than getting drunk on overpriced and watered down drinks. Pride has become so obsessed with and focused on doing absolutely everything in excess. Since New Orleans Pride has changed its planning format it doesn’t even pretend to reflect on the community as a whole, nor do they address or organize event addressing current issues that affect the LGBT community.
No instead, like most Pride events around the country, everything is corporate sponsored all in an attempt to commodify the rainbow Pride flag. And why? They want to make a quick buck without ever giving back or spreading a message. Nope, it’s all just a surface level “be proud of who you are” message. For example Nike’s “BETRUE 2016” campaign.
Nike created a campaign that sold Pride merchandise without giving back to the community. They never mentioned if any of the profits were going to go back to the community, instead, it appears they just lined their pockets. Nike just used Pride to make money and to drum up business and never committed to helping advance activism, but they’re not the only ones. One of New Orleans Pride’s biggest sponsors is Walgreens, however, when I tried to inquire about what social programs they support directly in the community I was directed to their Walgreens Charitable Donations page.
So where is all this money going? If it’s going back to the community, it’s not being prominently displayed. When all is said and done corporate American has figured out a way to formulate Pride. It’s really easy for them, they just slap on a rainbow on its products, and presto you have a genuine way to show how proud you are as a company, and people will buy it. And New Orleans Pride along with other Pride organizations have done little to nothing on a national level to combat this.
In my opinion, New Orleans Pride is missing out on the opportunity to bring the LGBT community together in a way that is both meaningful and productive, a way to make life better for many in the community. Instead, Pride festivals appear to be white, fit, masculine men, but Pride organizers will swear it’s all-inclusive, embracing all shapes, colors, sizes, but do you really see that? Then why would black LGBT members of the community have to form their own pride in New Orleans?
The main reason I stopped going is that I’m physically and mentally disassociated from Pride; that is often advertised as “Gay Pride.” Which feels incredibly outdated and exclusive to me. The gay community appears to take center stage and the rest of the community are forced to follow behind, almost in the shadows and take whatever scraps they are given from those with perceived power.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t true for every Pride, but speaking from someone from New Orleans, the gay community always takes center stage. I don’t want this to be a condemnation of all things Pride. I never claimed to be perfect, so the problem could certainly be with me. But I would love to see organizers of these events engage with all members of the community and remember all the sacrifices that others who have made before us so that we could celebrate their achievements.
As long as Pride itself remains the same, or we change our attitudes and perspective about who we are as a community it will remain the same. We will come together for one day and attempt to celebrate Pride, pretend we are one community, and we are all inclusive when in fact by the next day we will be right where we started.
The following article is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the opinion of Squirrel News, it's employee's or advertisers.
After publishing an assumed interview with the secret male lover of a closeted bisexual Premier League soccer star, the sun is under heavy fire. Racheal Dale a reporter for The Sun never identified the name of the player has a child by his long-term female partner, but allegedly has a gay lover on the side who he met at a nightclub and see’s often for sex.
“The Sun knows the identity of the footballer but has chosen not to reveal his name,” Dale stated. The homophobic includes salacious quotes from the man’s supportive lover. This has many calling the story “sensationalist” and “insidious” and calls to boycott the tabloid.
The Mersey Marauders Football Club, a gay team in Liverpool has accused the tabloid of “peddling their homophobic agenda again” and “trying to make headlines about ‘closeted; gay football players having ‘affairs’.”
Ryan Atkin and Premier League referee who came out last year expressed his disapproval “Publishing the story with the underlying theme of a potential sex scandal is just another low blow, whether they print the name or not,” he tells Indy100. “It’s that typical ‘we know who you are’ statement, which is insidious.” Furthermore; “The more people that come out, the easier it becomes for others. But speculation around the sexual orientation of professional footballers is one thing we really need to stop.”
SQUIRREL NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Outside of a small bar, you see a rainbow flag, to be honest, it’s quite surprising and a little out of the place. Since 1979 being gay is no longer a crime, however, under Article 303a of Cuba’s Penal Code "publicly manifested" homosexuality remains illegal, as does "persistently bothering others with homosexual amorous advances." The Caribbean island has undoubtedly evolved, for example, there are glimmers of free enterprise (a first in about 55 years). The one constant that remains is that Cuba is the regime is your customer. LGBT rights have improved in Cuba over the past decade, but while there have been some gains, several problems still remain. Cuba is still a predominately Catholic country, and the church still holds to the notion that being gay is a sin. Cuba (the Castro family) no longer sends LGBT individuals to labor camps as they did in the 60’s and 70’s, the only LGBT movement is a state-run overseen by Mariela Castro. While most of the world begins to celebrate Pride, Cubans are not allowed. Since the Government refused to recognize the international week of LGBT Pride. Under Mariela Castro, the LGBT community is allowed to come together and celebrate the World Health Organization’s “International Day Against Homophobia.”
Cuba by all accounts has been run as a family business since the Castro’s took over the country in 1959, so it’s no surprise that Mariela would end up working for her dad. As the daughter of President Raul and niece to "Maximum Leader" Fidel Castro, she holds an interesting place in the government. “Brokeback Mountain” might have aired on Cuban state television in 2008, but the complete control Mariela and CENESEX have over the LGBT community and agenda really don’t give Cubans a real sense of ownership of their own cause.
To the LGBT Cubans, I spoke with pretty much all agree that she is the creation of the state propaganda machine, a face to the world showing tolerance while the regime continues to hold a tight grip on society thus the totalitarianism continues. Why, well tourism is Cuba’s largest industry with more than 2 million visitors last year. Tourist (Western) would prefer a “Friendly Cuba” than one that is a notorious human rights violator. Ario a 24-year old gay man resents when gay men come to Cuba and think everything is fine, and that they somehow have these perceived freedoms. “They come from outside and know nothing about what we endure, they flaunt their money, and it’s insulting to us.” He further stated, “Tourist get to leave when their done having fun, we remain behind.”
One major announcement came in 2008, when the government announced that the national health-care system would begin providing free gender-reassignment surgeries to those that qualified. Then in 2014, the Cuban parliament passed a set of new labor laws that included language that outlawed employment based on sexual orientation. On the surface, it appears that Mariela is trying to move the LGBT agenda forward. BUT, not everyone is buying it!
"The reality for the LGBT community in Cuba is very different from that described by the international media," Diego Martinez (some names were changed to protect their identity), a 33-year-old gay man from Santa Clara, tells me. "We live under constant government surveillance and harassment, while at the same time being manipulated for their political purposes."
Martinez is married to a transgender who once worked at CENESEX, she pledged loyalty to the Revolution and became the first Cuban to receive government-sponsored sex reassignment surgery and completed a full male-to-female transition. Martinez’s partner started the illegal independent organization the Cuban League Against AIDS, they became dissident’s. They both participated in an unauthorized Pride Day parade in Havana in 2011 and the government responded by arresting all 20 participants. “The parade wall allowed to continue so not to allow any tourist to see the government position on homosexuality, but that night they came and arrested us all,” Martinez stated. Martinez married his partner in 2011 on August 13, 2011, and send a powerful message to the government. Opposition bloggers Yoani Sanchez and her husband, Reinaldo Escobar were there. Martinez wife stated about Mariela "Mariela is a chameleon; she can change her character very easily, and she is very sociable with the people who work for her, but never does anything for anyone without expecting something back in return."
Gay activist and independent journalist Mario Jose Delgado also thinks that the outside world has been duped by Mariela. He along with other LGBT Cuban are "very unhappy about the awards and recognition,” furthermore he stated, "It does not reflect the feelings of the gay community on the island." Delgado wants people to know that LGBT life in Cuba is more dire and uglier than what is projected by the government.
Delgado recounts about an incident several years ago, when he was heading home to the Alamar section of Havana when three men (in civilian clothes) pushed him into the backseat of a car and drove him to the outskirts of town where he was beaten in the face with a rock. The men have never been identified and were interested in the information he carried, mainly the names of members of a Christian LGBT group (Divine Hope) Delgado belonged to. The men took his cellphone and USB drive, along with his calendar which contained details about a demonstration the group was planning.
Delgado himself doesn’t have much to lose by speaking openly to reporters, but there are those in the LGBT community and don’t want to draw much attention to themselves. Most have settled into a relatively comfortable and safe life.
Luis and Sebastian live in a small apartment in Havana and it’s obvious they are a couple, even though they would never admit it. Sebastian has a successful career working for the state theater, which doesn’t happen by making social waves. What made an impression on me was that they refer to themselves as “friends”, something I haven’t heard since I was in my twenties. It’s apparent they are awkward about their situation. “Living in peace is much better and safer considering the era where same-sex couples lived in complete fear of being rounded up and sent to labor camps’” Luis said.
There is this casual somewhat laid-back attitude about the persecution of gay and homosexuality. The government tends to take a defensive tone when talking about Cuba’s history of homophobia. When directly questioned the use of term “concentration camps for gay men” seems to set off alarms, they quickly state “there was never concentration camps, but training camps,” one official told me when asked. There is a term that some would say to me Cada cual habla de la feria según le va en ella. "Everybody experiences reality in a different way."
72-year old Ernesto remembers many friends taken to “training camps,” and how many had to live in secrecy always afraid of the state police. “They would come in the dead of night and take you away, some never returned, some would come back get married have children. It was a difficult time, not much has changed” he stated. Cubans can’t communicate fully with each other as someone might be listening to your telephone conversations, internet access is scarce, mobile phone use is the lowest in Latin America, vehicle ownership is exceptionally low and public transportation is a complete disaster.
Ernesto talks about Gats Loco (a “gay bar” in Trinidad, Cuba), most believe it was the first gay bar in Cuba, but the first display of the rainbow flag that he remembers was an LGBT center in Santa Clara, that opened sometime in the early 90’s. El Mejune opened as an independent operation but quickly found itself being offered assistance from the government. “This follows the typical practice that the Cuban government does if it’s out of their control they just make it official,” explains Ernesto.
So, where does this leave the LGBT community in Cuba? Most understand they are fighting a battle not only with the Castro government but more so trying to change the perception of Cuban society towards LGBT individuals. Currently, there has been no movement to change the penal code or allowing Cubans to live freely as the government still has immense control over daily life. Unit the time comes that LGBT Cubans can live freely then continue to fight and do what they can.
Tim Bergling's (aka Aviciii) family released a statement regarding his death. Avicii died April 20 at the age of 28
The family of Tim Bergling, the Swedish dance music star known as Avicii, who died on April 20 at age 28, have released a statement.
We would like to thank you for the support and the loving words about our son and brother. We are so grateful for everyone who loved Tim’s music and have precious memories of his songs.
Thank you for all the initiatives taken to honor Tim, with public gatherings, church bells ringing out his music, tributes at Coachella and moments of silence around the world.
We are grateful for the privacy during this difficult time. Our wish is that it continues that way.
The Tim Bergling Family
Bergling was found dead in his hotel room in Oman, the Middle Eastern country bordering Saudi Arabia. The cause of death is as yet unknown.
Avicii was one of the most successful and popular electronic dance-music of all time - No. 4 hit on the Billboard 200 in 2013 with "Wake Me Up" and Top 5 on Forbes' "Highest-Paid DJs" list. In 2016 he retired from live performing citing health reasons. It is known he had suffered health problems for several years, including acute pancreatitis (reportedly from excessive drinking). He also had his appendix and gallbladder removed in 2014.
Sources within the Oman police department have reported they have not found any "criminal suspicion" in his death. Two post-mortem examinations were conduced and foul play has been ruled out.
Politics in any form can be messy, but when you’re running for a Congressional seat from Louisiana’s 6th District I imagine it would be muddled with unfounded accusations, misinformation and downright dirty. So, why would a member of the LGBT community want to put themselves through that? I wanted to know what would make Justin Dewitt put himself in the potential line of fire.
First, you have to understand that he is very passionate about the state of politics both on the state and federal level. He knows that it’s not going to be easy to beat an opponent with a large “war chest” and the backing of special interests, however, Dewitt is determined to make a statement and has the drive and determination to move forward with his platform. “I know that this is an uphill battle, but I want to represent the people of the 6th District”, he stated,” and “I believe that I can make a difference.”
So, what is Justin Dewitt about, what are his views on key issues that affect the people he wants to represent? We’re going to look at three key issues that not only affect those in the 6th District but our entire state; flood insurance (disaster), Traffic infrastructure, and supporting working families.
If you live or have lived in Louisiana for any period of time then you’re aware that we pay some of the highest rates with regards to flood insurance. Since Katrina, many Louisiana residences have seen their insurance rates go right through the roof. “I want to see a commonsense approach to rebuilding our levees, protecting the wetlands, and helping our citizens obtain affordable flood insurance.” Being a crew foreman for a land surveying company Justin has seen firsthand the neglect of the drainage infrastructure, which must be addressed. For every year that passes our crumbling infrastructure cost go up and up. Currently, Congress is unable or unwilling to address major infrastructure issues since they gave big corporations a permanent tax cut, leaving needed repairs on our roads, bridges, airports, etc. going left unattended.
When it comes to traffic everyone knows ours is one of the worst in the nation. I have to say that driving in Baton Rouge is a nightmare, and during rush-hour traffic it’s abominable. He understands that traffic is not a single issue, but a variety of issues. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation has rated Louisiana bridges and roads as 3,790 of the 13,050 (29%) as structurally deficient/ functionally obsolete and 62% of roads are in poor/ mediocre conditions. “Just drive on our roads in and around Baton Rouge and you’ll see how bad they are. I don’t think that currently our representatives (Rep. Garret Graves) in Congress are doing enough to bring needed money to replace, or repair our road,” Dewitt stated. He also thinks more resources are need to be put in place to look into alternative forms of transportation and reducing congested traffic.
Want to earn $7.25 per hour, then move to Louisiana. While most cities have imposed higher minimum wages for some, working in Louisiana is not going to help you get ahead. This past March the state House Labor Committee shot down legislation to raise the minimum wage, instead letting it remain at the current $7.25, the committee also rejected a proposal that would require state contractors to pay women equal wages. Dewitt wants to see women paid the same as men and he believes this can be done on the federal level by re-visiting the Equal Pay Act of 1963. “There is no reason why women shouldn’t be paid the same as their male counterparts.” He further stated, “We live in a state where most people can’t get by on $10 or $12 dollars an hour, minimum wages needs to be raised.”
One thing I gather from talking with Justin opposition to corporate and/or super PAC money. He has decided to not take any money from corporate PAC’s, he believed that by doing so you sell your seat in Congress and are beholden to their interest. “We are a government represented by the people, and for the people, if I take money from corporations I just become their mouthpiece and the people pay with poor, ineffective representation.
Justin Dewitt isn’t just working hard to represent the 6th District, he is also a member of the LGBT community. He has strong connections with the community and wants to see the end of discrimination across the board. “Being gay doesn’t define me as an individual, it’s a part of who I am,” he stated. He appears not to understand why there is such division in the LGBT community, “how can we expect mainstream society to accept us if we’re constantly putting others down, and for what,” he stated. That aside he admits that there are many in the community that work hard to bridge the divide and put themselves out there for the benefit of the LGBT.
I asked him about the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Louisiana. He did hesitate to question the pharmaceutical industries monopoly on HIV/AIDS drugs and the high cost of medications. He stated: “there has to be a balance between profits and availability of access of HIV/AID drugs,” furthermore “the reduction of federal funds for education has left Louisiana fighting a pandemic of major proportions.” He understands that Baton Rouge ranks 1st in the state for AIDS rate, that Louisiana ranks 5th in the nation and 12th in the number of AIDS cases diagnosed and 75% of all HIV/AIDS Cases in Region 2 (Baton Rouge area) are African Americans. “We have to look at this as an issue the entire state needs to address, and education and prevention is key to this,” Dewitt stated.
SO, LET THE GAMES BEGIN! Justin Dewitt has the drive, tenacity, and passion to represent the people of the 6th Congressional District. By being himself, staying true to what he believes and his values. He was honest that he cannot make promises, and wouldn’t make any that he couldn’t keep. But only do his best to represent the voters. He isn’t about political divides, doesn’t care about party affiliation, but just wants everyone’s vote to count and know that they have a voice.
“I want everyone to know that their concerns are important to me, that I come to them to listen and hear what’s bothering them,” Justin Dewitt.
for more information on his CAMPAIGN
Squirrel News is not endorsing, supporting or expressing any political views with regards to the Congressional race in the 2nd District of Louisiana.
LGBT activists in Atlanta are trying to prevent a gay hangout/sex shop from being shut down. The adult shop Tokyo Valentino opened in 1995 in the Lenox Park neighborhood and is considered a "gay megaplex" and has the largest selection of adult products, video booths, DVD's, open/private playrooms and smoke shop.
It appears that lawmakers are doing their best to shut down the place, stating it "violate's the city's adult entertainment ordinance by being 500 feet of a residential area." However, some are not buying it. It is believed this is a homophobic attack on the community. So there appears to be a petition to stop the city from closing the business. “Tokyo Valentino at Cheshire Bridge Rd is being shut down by the City of Atlanta unless you help!” the petition reads. “If we lose our culture then we also lose our identity as gay Georgians!
The petition has about 3,000 signatures so far. Started by Gay Georgia, Inc, GAGA is a PAC that works to “preserve LGBTQ cultural and entertainment locations important to maintaining the identity and safety of gay Georgians," according to their website.
Matt Terrell a local writer has also joined the fight. Georgia Voice has published a piece "Save our historic glory holes," Terrell writes.
I do think we should save Tokyo Valentino. We should preserve this sex store because we need seedy businesses in Atlanta. There will always be a need for spaces where suburban men can come and have anonymous sex. Drugs and hustlers are part of our capitalist ecosystem, and it’s important that we give them a place to exist. Using the power of zoning and city ordinances to bully adult businesses out of town is short-sighted. The activities that happen there will move somewhere else.
He also believes that cities should have a red-light district, "they help keep "skeezy and gross" behavior "clean and quite." Furthermore, he writes “Let the hustlers have space to hustle–or else they might walk down to your neighborhood instead, and “That sort of illicit and illegal activity will happen regardless of how hard we try to legislate it out of our community."
GAGA wants to gather 2,000 more signatures on its petition. “We have fought for acceptance…now we need to fight to preserve it!” the petition says. “Please sign the petition to stop the City of Atlanta from closing Tokyo Valentino. It will only take a few clicks. We are gay Georgia. We are GAGA!”
Reggie Bullock who plays for the Detroit Piston's us using his fame as a major NBA player to bring awareness to LGBTQ equality in memory of his sister.
His sister Mia Henderson was murdered in Baltimore; Henderson was a trans woman. Since 2014 Bullock, who is straight, cannot make sense of the extreme violence and struggled to understand the transgender community.
Well, he and his team have just announced that they are partnering with GLAAD and other members of the LGBTQ community to encourage open conversation about inclusion in the NBA and elsewhere.
During a game against the Atlanta Hawks he wore Equality shoes and on the sole of the shoes was his sisters name.
If you remember last summer he posted on his Instagram page a picture of his rainbow watchband. With the following caption (in part): “You are free to choose how you live, so I choose to stand for equality in the community and inclusion of all human beings.”
The man who was charged with Henderson's death was acquitted by a jury two years ago. Bullock who refused to dwell on that, instead is focused on remembering his sister's memory and doing what he can to make the world more compassionate for LGBTQ people. “A lot of people joke and do all these type of things about those type of people,” he said in a 2016 radio interview. “But me, it touches me, because I had a [sister], I had a person who was that way.
I'll just leave with this quote from Bullock; “I have come to accept trans people because I loved my sibling.”
Jonathan hasn't received a message in weeks.
A 25-year old gay man who lives in New York, he keeps a folder filled with various dating apps on his phone—including Grindr, Scruff, and Tinder. Since moving to Hell’s Kitchen two months ago, he says he can “count on one hand” the number of messages he’s gotten from men in the popular Manhattan gayborhood.
Jonathan, a muscularly built student at NYU decides to engage in a little experiment over coffee in a Harlem café: He changes his profile picture to a male friend’s photo. The friend is cute and clean-cut, but most importantly, he’s white. Jonathan gets 50 messages in less than a half hour.
To be honest he isn't surprised. In fact, he is used to this. “It doesn’t matter what I write in my profile,” Jonathan says. “You’re not going to read it because you’re automatically going to make assumptions about me based on my race.” It was recently that someone sent him a message on Grindr that he can't forget, “You fucking chinks are the reason why there’s so much racism in the gay community,” it read.
Unfortunately, his experience isn't uncommon, especially on dating ("hook-up") sites. In 2014 Christian Rudder, founder of OkCupid told NPR there is a "bias" on almost all platforms against black and Asian users. “Every kind of way you can measure their success on a site—how people rate them, how often they reply to their messages, how many messages they get—that’s all reduced,” he stated.
Researchers in Australia polled about 2,000 gay and bisexual men, and found that 70% percent felt that it was o.k. to exclude someone based on their ethnicity and it wasn't racism, and they also believed that to have 'no Blacks', 'no Asians' was just stating a preference (what a load of crap, in my opinion).
Let's just be real about this, sexual racism has become a contentious one in the gay community, as most gay and bisexual men depend on their phones in ways they once did at local bars; which as you know leaves certain types of people in these online communities out in the cold. As Jonathan explains "it can be difficult to find your place in the community where you're too often shut out by people who believe that exclusion is harmless - or even natural."
Peter an Asian American living in Salt Lake City stated: “It took a toll on my self-esteem, I wondered, why not me? I thought that was the culture,” he said. “But when I talked to my white friends about it, it was if they lived in a completely different world. Their profiles are flooded with hundreds of different messages and filled with conversations with all different kinds of people. My friends of color, though, had the same experience as me: You rarely get a message and rarely does someone respond to yours.”
Peter admits that he doesn't get many messages on any dating platform and that it took him a while to understand why people were not responding to him. "I just get the feeling that I am not wanted because of my heritage and that is Asian." What bothers Peter the most is when people send messages that include words such as 'chink', 'slant eyes', 'bedtime', lemonhead', and 'japanigger'. “I see my friends who are always with new people or going on dates. It makes me feel left out and isolated knowing that it’s not as easy for me to navigate the gay scene. I’ve struggled with not feeling attractive enough because there are such strict beauty standards in the gay community around what’s considered attractive. You have to fit into that box.” he stated.
We have to understand that sexual racism is not exclusive to online spaces, but what makes the discrimination unique is unlike chat rooms, most users believe they have some sort of expectation that what they share is private. Allowing users to express exclusionary preferences around race, but otherwise would not in public. But statements like 'no chocolate', 'no rice', 'whites only' are very prevalent in online dating sites. "It's less common that I experience overt racism when I'm at a bar, but online it's an entirely different situation," says Akio a 28-year old gay man from Seattle. "I can’t log on a dating app without people telling him that they’re “not into Asians guys."
Akio recounts an experience where he was talking to a guy online, when he sent a picture, the man he was talking to replied, I doesn't mess around with Asians. However, it just so happened that he was out with friends and low and behold he spotted the same guy he was just talking to three days prior. I asked a friend to introduce us, and when we walked over this man was all over me, but when I recounted our online conversation, he had nothing to say, except sorry.
If you were walking down the street with other people and yelled discriminatory slag, that would be socially unacceptable. But for some reason when you're alone and not in the presence of others it appears to be o.k. Why? Maybe because you have a physical barrier between yourself and the people you're interacting with? When is it alright to say "it's a preference" and it's not racist? It's racist regardless how you look at it there are no other words to describe this behavior. This applies to all social groups in the LGBT community, we see just as many 'no whites', so let's not fool ourselves to think otherwise.
When I hear people talk about togetherness, we're one community I have to call bullshit. Let's just be real about discrimination in the LGBT community, it happens across the spectrum.
The bottom line is when we use discriminatory language on social app's we invite a complete lack of empathy for those with whom one is engaging.
If you don't know who you're talking (chatting) with and don't have to physically see their reaction to what's being said you don't feel as bad.
What a sad community we still have to deal with open discrimination and racism in the LGBT community.
Israel pole dancer not only wowed the crowd and judges, but he managed to do this wearing nothing but high stiletto heels and black tights. Set to the music of the Goo Goo Dolls, 'Iris'; showing off his amazing pole dancing skills, insane flexibility and, muscle strength. The most impressive is right at 1:45 into the performance with a split on the pole.
The judges appeared to be extremely impressed with his abilities. But it was one of the judged that became really emotional and stated: You just flew there like a bird. You’re like… I saw… a man, a child who is fulfilling his dream and doesn’t give a fuck about what other people are saying and who doesn’t care about what society thinks. And to get to that place where you’re complacent with yourself. Beyond that, you are an artisan. You’re like a swan. You’re so beautiful from the inside and outside and elegant that I don’t see in the most feminine woman and in the most manly man.She then spoke to Gradus’ mother who was in the audience with this sister. “You can today be with the most proud, pounding heart for your son.”
Another judge broke down in tears while trying to praise his performance: “What I most admired and I know how hard it is,” she stammered. “How hard it is when you’re doing what you love and been criticized for it on the most difficult level there is. And how difficult it is to keep doing it despite what people say and this touched me madly and this….” Then she sent Gradus straight to the finals of Israel's Got Talent when she hit the golden buzzer.
WATCH HIS AMAZING PERFORMANCE