A couple of weeks ago, Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan posted a pic (below) to his Instagram of a large group of congressional interns. The pic quickly went viral when the comments section of the selfie went off, pointing out that a HUGE majority of the mostly Republican interns were white.
But it seems that the Republicans aren’t the only community lacking diversity. A recent pic (above) from a party in the NYC area has surfaced that echoes the same disturbing sentiment. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence in gay bars and clubs, where inclusion is only for those who look like each other… or even worse, people of color and their sexuality are fetishized, only useful in some aggressive sex fantasy, which only reinforces the fear-based prejudices that white supremacy thrives on.
I, myself, have had the embarrassing experience of being asked to leave a certain, mostly white, NYC bar (more than once), after someone’s wallet went missing. Apparently, I fit the profile of a thief…so, it gave all the other patrons a false sense of safety, if I were no longer there.
FS Magazine– the gay men’s health magazine, published by GMFA, the gay men’s health branch of the Health Equality and Rights Organisation (HERO) which works to reduce health inequalities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* communities, did a recent poll. They found that 80% of black guys and 79% of Asian guys said that they have personally experienced racism on the gay scene.
“When I look at queer programs, both local and national, there tends to be a social disconnect between the reality that is being portrayed publicly and what is happening privately”, says Huffington Post columnist Ernest Owens. People of color are often the voyeurism that shapes white queer spaces — a feeling that has become more exploitative and problematic than embracing.”
It’s time to look at our own “communities” blatant bigotry, and understand that if you are mythologizing POC’s sexuality, or contributing to our continued segregation by way of your apathy, you ARE also the problem!