Being a gay person is hard. Being an ethnic gay is even harder, and being an ethnic gay looking for love is like playing Mario Kart (as Princess Peach, duh) but everyone keeps throwing those red shells at you – challenging to say the least. So, chances are, you’re going to try really hard, but you’re probably going to get your feelings hurt….a lot. Like damn, can a bi*ch catch a break?

I don’t think it’s discussed enough how much of a problem racism is within the gay community. From the moment you log into a dating app like Grindr, you’re met with a gay bingo board of shirtless torsos, blank profiles, masc4masc muscle gays… oh, and who could forget the oh-so-classic “no spice”, “no rice” and “no blacks” bios.

Yes, people really are that brazen and casual about their ‘preferences’ – or as I like to call it, racism. If it weren’t for everyone on these dating apps being so open about their thirst for the D, I’d think we’d taken a trip back in time to the 1960s…

All jokes aside, racism never left and is well and truly alive today. Case in point, the Black Lives Matter and the Stop Asian Hate movements in recent months.

In the wake of the BLM movement, gay dating app Grindr announced it would be removing its ethnicity filter which permitted users to filter out potential partners based on labels like “Black”, “Latino” and “Asian”. Often criticised for being racist, the filter helped create a toxic culture where being racist was made to be ‘normal’. In 2017, Grindr banned racial abuse and exclusionary language like “no Blacks, no Asians” in users’ bios with its ‘Kindr Grindr‘ initiative, where they made an attempt to explain why these statements are toxic and unacceptable. Though the move was a step in the right direction, the app is still rife with racism. With sentiments like “I’m not really into Asians” still being sent through DMs. When notified of these instances, Grindr is slow to take action, if any at all.

I was curious to see what some of my Instagram followers’ experiences were, and these are just a few of them.

One of my followers divulges that,

“One time an anonymous profile on Grindr just randomly started calling me slurs and I just ignored it and then they created a fake Insta and started commenting slurs on my pictures.”

And another tells me,

“On Grindr I get ‘I’m not really into Asians’ or ‘I don’t normally go for Asians’. So dumb because I’m not Asian.”

…this second one really made me laugh because how are ya’ll this loud AND wrong?? Are you not embarrassed?

This kind of bold-faced racism within our own community doesn’t just happen online. It happens in places that are meant to be ‘safe space’ for queer people. In the last year, a Brisbane venue (The Stand) came under fire after a Snapchat image surfaced displaying a back of house docket labelled: “two very annoying Asians”.

The picture was accompanied by a caption written by one of the co-owners, stating “Omg I love my staff”, followed by three laughing emojis. So funny, right? The two customers ordered a chicken croissant with avocado and a fish taco, but what they didn’t order was the racism on the side. Like, cheque please?

In an online statement the venue said, “In light of recent events, the previous owner has parted ways and the other member of staff involved is also no longer with the company. Moving forward, we at The Stand want to continue to provide a safe space for all, we appreciate your support and patience during this changeover time moving forward.”

But why is it still such a big issue within the LGBTIQ+ community, which is meant to be this big, open, loving and supportive family? Well, I hate to say it, but in a world where white- ness has been set as the standard of beauty (by whites might I add), casual racism is “just a joke,” and some gays believe they can’t be bigots because they’re already in a minority, it’s clear why the rainbow flag is looking – and I quote Crest when I say this – Noticeably White.

It’s crazy to think that we’ve come so far as a community, yet there is still this in-your- face racism that isn’t spoken about. There is a conversation that needs to be had, with your family, your friends and yourself.

To my fellow ethnic gays out there, you are loved, appreciated and you are important.

Take care x


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About Author

Walton Wong

Meet Walton Wong - a 28-year-old, Melbourne-based part-time writer and full-time hot mess.

He is a homebody at heart who enjoys binge eating, drinking cocktails, and memorising the words to real housewife fights, often simultaneously.

Walton is originally from Papua New Guinea, which means he brings a unique – and welcomed – perspective to the Gay’s Guide team.

Please head to our contact page if you’d like to share feedback on A Modern Gay’s Guide or pitch a story that you’d like us to cover.