In a new video, MTV Decoded’s Dylan Marron explains the problem of racism in the gay community, particularly racism found on dating apps. The clip that tackles the tough subject of gay men and racism is causing quite the conversation, with more than 1,000 shares as of press time.
“While we know racism on dating apps impacts people of all sexualities and gender expressions, I can tell you that this is a particular problem among gay men,” Marron begins. “Because even though gay men themselves belong to a marginalized community, they can and often do perpetuate the oppression of others.”
Watch the video that tackles the tough subject of gay men and racism:
Dylan Marron continues:
“When gay men are confronted with their racist language, many try to explain it away as “a preference.” I mean, “they can’t help it, it’s just how they feel. As if they were captive to some mystical, romantic force that naturally discriminates against people of color.”
“This is where structural racism comes into play. Because preferences are actually shaped by learned values. When you’re judging a person based solely on their racial background, you’re acting on generalizations you’ve learned to associate with that person’s appearance or heritage. You can’t say it’s their personality because you shut them down before you even got to know them.”
“We actually learn how to define what is attractive from those around us. And because we’re raised within a framework of western beauty standards, society often characterizes non-white features as ‘different’ or ‘unattractive.'”
“So if our stereotypes about race are proven to be learned and those stereotypes are shown to influence our attraction to others, it stands to reason that when you’re general about race particularly on dating apps, your preferences are actually the product of an environment that normalizes racism.”
But what about those gay men who say they’re into a certain race or ethnicity? Marron explains why that’s problematic, too.
“Exotifying people of color due to their race or background is commonplace on dating apps,” he says. “Some people are looking for a ‘Papi Chulo’ or a ‘Rice Queen’ or a ‘DL Thug.’ But this language is dehumanizing and reduces people to social stereotypes.”
“It buys into a toxic tradition of racism by assuming whiteness is the norm and turning a person’s identity into a fetish, essentially making them feel like an oddity or a rare find.”