Racism has become a concern for numerous people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, with ethnic, racial and national minorities facing significant discrimination from other individuals and against their own. For example, in the United States, the racialized LQBT members often find themselves as a double minority where they are not fully accepted and understood by their ethnic group or the white LGBT community. Most individuals go through racism in the dominant LGBT community, where racial stereotypes blend with gender stereotypes. For example, Asian America LGBT often experience stereotypes from westerners because they are perceived as more feminine or passive. The African American people, on the other hand, are considered more passive. LGBTQ members of colour are twice more likely than white members to report discrimination because of their sexual orientation when applying for jobs or in police interactions (Prichep). Therefore, the paper focuses on racism against, minorities including the black, Asian, and Hispanic LGBT community, to understand the issue better.
More than half of the Asan, Black and minority LGBT people report going through discrimination or maltreatment from other individuals in the LGBT due to their ethnicity. This number goes higher for the Black LGBT individuals. Even movements for these individuals, such as the UK black pride, a community-led group supporting Asian, Black, Caribbean, and Black heritage members of the LGBT, acknowledge that these experiences are unacceptable and harsh for too many people, especially the black category. Besides the harsh realities amongst their very own. The acceptance of the community to the realities of the LGBT members is still lower than it is for the white respondents.
Although there is no active conversation going around the wider society about moving away from homophobia, the prevalence of racism within the gay subculture is rarely addressed. For example, these individuals get verbally abused in the streets based on race for refusing the advances of other individuals within the community. In addition, some dating apps meant for these individuals might use No Asians and No blacks racism in their profiles.
The world has made significant progress towards accepting the LGBT community, pushing and moving towards equality. However, the state and federal governments have not taken any steps towards establishing nondiscrimination laws focused on protecting individuals of the LGBT community based on their sexual orientation and race. Sexual minorities of colour, primarily black men, are more likely to experience racial stigma within their LGBT spaces besides the stigma they go through in their neighbourhoods.
Anti-black LGBT racism is the most significant category that minority members experience. Most black individuals within the LGBT platform report experiencing discrimination from their white counterparts (Page, Cerezo, & Ross). Cleo Manago coined the phrase “same gender loving,” to denote individuals of African descent attracted to the same sex instead of expressing terms such as bisexual, gay, and lesbian (Tobin, & Monn 141). This term was coined to help actively express pride in an individual’s racial heritage. There are efforts to push gay rights alongside black rights movements. Most of these individuals within the black LGBT community, especially men, report receiving harassment and discrimination within bars and clubs. In the past, some gay clubs would put up signs saying “No Femes, blacks, or Faggots” and other similar phrases. During apartheid, gay black South African men reported experiencing grotesque racism from white gay men. The idea of discrimination the black gay men receive is that white gay men are just as racist as white straight men.
The sex-role stereotypes that black men face are linked to racial stereotypes, making them even more significant. Black men expressing a preference for white gay men have been reported to suffer from insidious white racism, causing internalized racism among black men. Some Afrocentric gay men do not support interracial relationships because they hold that gay black men prefer white men, do not have strong roots in the black community or are oblivious to racism. The category of opponents to interracial romance amongst African Americans believe that individuals should not focus more on hating their gayness, but they should focus more on dating other gay black men.
Anti-Latino and anti-Hispanic LGBT racism are other areas of concern in the broad topic of racism in the LGBT community. Latino and Hispanic gay men experience racism within and outside the gay community, while lesbians go through racism within the LGBT community (Worthen 995-1011). Those with darker skin colour and indigenous skin features go through the highest discrimination levels, including from the white gay community. The first Latino gay bar was established in San Francisco in 1979. The Latino LGBT has been engaged in independent organizing since the 1870s dealing with sexism, racism, and homophobia issues. They founded the first Latina Lesbian organization in the 1980s in Los Angeles and the National Latinos lesbian and gay organization in 1987. They chose to organize separately from the other LGBT community due to racism in the LGBT community and homophobia from the straight community. The La Casa organization in California serves the Latino LGBT community, creating a safe space that safeguards them from racism and homophobia in the community.
Asian men are presented in the media, whether straight or LGBT, as desexualized or feminized. The LGBT community from Asian descent often reports being discriminated against within the community and outside the LGBTQ (Wang, et al. 1-10). Asian men, unlike black men who are hypersexualized, are often undersexed. Even in pornography, Asian men are often depicted as submissive to white men. The racist stereotypes in the Asian community are mostly focused on gay men than lesbians. On dating sites, gay Asian men experience discrimination because it is common for the apps to specify their preferences based on race. Anti-Asian racism is also perpetuated by the increasing hate on the Asian community, especially in the United States, where there have been recent hate crimes against the Asian community. The Covid 19 hate crimes act was passed in 2020 to help deal with the increasing prevalence of hate crimes on Asians in the United States. The Asian LGBT community faces significant discrimination within various domains, including the workplace and social settings, unlike the white community.
LGBT individuals come from diverse cultural backgrounds with different racial and ethnic identities. However, even with the significant changes in attitudes the world has experienced towards the community, they continue to face racism and threats of violence and harassment in social settings and worldwide. Being open about sexual orientation is mostly associated with violence and sexually related violence based on race. The issue of racism in the LGBT community is not as significant for white LGBT members as-is for members of colour. The prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination against individuals under the LGBT affects them and their families negatively. Most of these discrimination cases against the LGBT community lead to violence and harassment of persons, especially from anti-LGBT individuals and within the spectrum. They face discrimination in essential services such as employment and healthcare. Minority groups suffer psychological trauma from being discriminated against even within their communities. The white LGBT community is more privileged than the minority, including blacks, Asians and Latinos.
In conclusion, the issue of LGBT racism significantly undermines recent efforts to enhance acceptance ad embracing of individuals under the rainbow communities. The black, Asian, and Latino face significant discrimination within the LGBT community besides being discriminated against by the straight community. This interferes with their mental well-being and their place in the community. Therefore, there is a need to end LGBT racism for a better tomorrow for these minorities.
Page, Konjit V., Alison Cerezo, and Andrea Ross. “Creating space for ourselves: Black sexual minority women and gender diverse individuals countering anti-Black racism and heterosexism.” Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (2021).
Prichep. D. “For LGBTQ People of Color, Discrimination Compounds.” NPR. (2017). Retrieved From: https://www.npr.org/2017/11/25/564887796/for-lgbtq-people-of-color-discrimination-compounds
Tobin, Theresa W., and Dawne Moon. “How Racism and Respectability Politics Shape the Experiences of Black LGBTQ and Same-Gender-Loving Christians.” Voices from the edge: Centering marginalized perspectives in analytic theology (2020): 141.
Wang, Yuanyuan, et al. “Mapping out a spectrum of the Chinese public’s discrimination toward the LGBT community: results from a national survey.” BMC Public Health 20 (2020): 1-10.
Worthen, Meredith GF. “Gay equals White”? Racial, ethnic, and sexual identities and attitudes toward LGBT individuals among college students at a Bible Belt university.” The Journal of Sex Research 55.8 (2018): 995-1011.