For decades now the gay community has stated they are inclusive of everyone hence why their symbol is the rainbow flag. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. The dominate image put forth by GLADD, GLESSEN and other LGBT organizations has been and continues to be white washed. Anyone who doesn’t fit this homogenized image doesn’t exist.
Let’s start with the number one area the media depicts LGBT people: porn. Go to any site geared to men who have sex with when and you’ll be bombarded with porno ads all depicting white chiseled guys and if a nonwhite person is featured it’s usually to play up racial stereotypes or to fetishize them.
Case in point: the Mandingo sex crazed black guy who has a foot long phallus. Or the ghetto gang banger violating the innocent little white boy. Or the hood rat hoodlum who gets dominating by the white guy. Sure you’ll see Asian and Latino guys in porn but that’s only because they tend to be lighter skinned and thus a case of but not too black.
Because remember they’re not people but sex objects, so it’s ok to fetishize an entire group of people and so what if this has an negative effect in the real world. Asians tend to depicted as submissive ultra feminine “lady-boys” who fall over themselves for even the lowliest white guy, where as Latinos get stereotyped as feisty and passionate lovers.
The bleed over effect is obvious to anyone who’s spent time on hook up and relationship site for men who have sex with men. You have profiles that say outright not into X race, but I’m not racist it’s just my preference. Right, because disregarding everyone from a group isn’t discriminatory at all, especially if your profile says you’re looking for friends.
In the past this annoyed the hell out of me however now I’m thankful for theses clowns. It lets you know immediately which guys are douche bags. Because chances are if they’re have hang ups on race you can bet your butt hole they’re also narcissistic trolls who are shallower than smoke and of course are “Straight Acting.”
Which leads me to another issue. How the larger media as a whole depicts black gay and bi guys. The only time they mention us is in the context of HIV/AIDS, or being on the DL. While infection rates are high among black LGBT persons this due more to genetics and engaging in risky behavior. Not being on the DL.
Moreover in recent years there have been sharp increases in the infection rates of young white males who have sex with males because they believe AIDS isn’t a serious threat anymore and they can just take a few pills if they become infected.
You don’t see the media ,mainstream or gay, reporting on these men who engage in bare backing and so called breeding, where by multiple men have unprotected anal sex and ejaculate in a bottom.
Nor do you see them report on all the “Straight” guys looking to hook up with other guys on Craig ’s list and elsewhere. Then there all these MWM (married white males) cruising for sex yet not a word is uttered about them. Hmm I wonder why? maybe because if they did then their customer base of affluent suburban white males would get their panties in a bunch.
The mainstream media and gay media have been lagging when it comes to more inclusive portrayals of LGBT characters. Case in point Will and Grace. Set in New York City, one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. But you wouldn’t know that from the show.
Moreover as much as it was “groundbreaking” it failed to show gay characters who weren’t either super feminine or masculine. This is a problem because people don’t fall into either extremes. They tend be somewhere in between.
Queer as Folk was another show which failed into include a diverse picture of LGBT life. It was set in Philadelphia, a predominately black city, yet only featured a handful of nonwhite characters, who surprise, surprise were partnered white characters.
One scene in particular sticks out in my mind. It was a mixed couple who approached one of the main characters to have a threesome. When I saw this my first reaction was seriously, you finally show a black gay guy and he’s just there to be a sex object. Epic fail. Even with modern shows like Glee and Modern Family the LGBT characters, if they appear at all, are almost always white.
For many marginalized groups independent media gives them an outlet to have their voices heard. However here too minorities are not given a place at the table. The majority of indie LGBT films are for and about white characters. Either in one of the gay Mecca’s or follows their struggle to get there from their backwaters town.
Of the few LGBT movies geared towards blacks Brother to Brother is best because it’s not only a history on how Bayard Rustin and others were treated because of their sexuality and race, but how young people of color are treated today by their communities and the gay community.
While indie publishing has opened the flood gates in terms of content much of what’s out there for LGBT people of color is slim pickings and this is even worse in mainstream publishing where the trend continues to be books featuring predominately white characters and few if any nonwhite ones.
So what can be done?
First LGBT people of color should pull their support from organizations that continue to perpetuate the whitewashed 2-D portrayal the community. Second we should get active in groups fighting for our needs and if none exist in our area, start one.
Next we should bring up these issues at round tables and conferences and if we get dismissed as drama queens or seeing a problem where none is there, then we boycott them and start our own.
Likewise if you’re tired of not seeing more diverse and inclusive portrayals of LGBT folk start creating them. One of the reasons I started writing was because I was sick of not seeing people like me.
So what are your thoughts on this issue? I’m I off base or what?