Food for Thought: “Sexual Racism” – When Does Your Preference Become Racist?




Photography: Chris Jepson


When does your preference become racist? reports:

Scott Roberts (@scottjsroberts), former news presenter on Gaydar Radio and editor of Pink News, looks at how sexual racism affects the gay community today.

“No Blacks and no Asians please”. Let me ask you, where have we gone to read such an offensive statement? Are we standing in front of a door sign outside a bed and breakfast or pub in a market town in 1950s Britain? Nope, it’s just a typical comment you can see after a quick trawl through the profiles of guys on several of our most popular gay dating platforms. Yes, welcome to sexual racism in the social -networking era. Racism and homophobia are two forms of prejudice that have been around since the start of modern civilisation, but these days they show up online with far greater prominence than you would expect to find in your average street.

The large number of celebrity cases in the news in the past year (Olympic diver Tom Daley received homophobic GetImage.aspx2tweets during the London 2012 Games and the former footballer Stan Collymore successfully took a law student to court after he was bombarded with racial messages) illustrate the sharp end of malicious, online bigotry. Many people still have not grasped the fact that what you publish online is the same as saying it out loud in a street. This year’s high-profile Twitter ‘troll’ prosecutions may have been a wake-up call for some of the ignorant and also to parts of the establishment.

However, sexual racism, encapsulated by the comments you read at the very beginning, where the author is not seeking to hurt a particular individual, is a more subtle form of stupidity. What does it tells us about our online gay culture if most of us instantly recognise the familiarity of the “no Blacks, no Asians” comment? Of course, everyone is entitled to their own sexual preferences. It would make for a pretty strange world if someone told me who I could and could not fancy – althought that does happen, all too often.

The main reason why I believe sexual racism is wrong is because it promotes the idea that ‘casual’ racism is acceptable. By writing “no Blacks, no Asians” on a profile, a person is basically announcing that they believe these two racial groups of people should be avoided sexually. It is their personal opinion, but when displayed in a public setting it constitutes prejudice, regardless of the context. Society has taken the view that displaying prejudice is wrong. However, the minute we start to compromise with ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ discrimination, the journey to a fully equal society travels in a skewed direction. Rejection is always a difficult thing to deal with, regardless of whether it is racially based or because you are 5ft 7.

Read more HERE



  1. AJ said:

    This is the most ridiculous piece I have EVER read. It’s personal sexual preference and it’s NO BODY’S business but yours. And it’s certainly not racism. The gay community needs to stop clamoring so hard to be victimized. Every where you turn, there’s a new victim and a new reason to feel discriminated against. Some people think black skin is not sexually attractive. Some people think typical Asian characteristics are not sexually attractive. Sometimes in life, your feelings are going to get hurt and the people you want to sleep with aren’t going to want to sleep with you….and sometimes it’s for purely selfish reasons that you can’t control. That doesn’t make them racists. Grow up. Get over it and move on.

    • hhh said:

      Spoken like a true racist. You are in effect saying the color of one’s skin is not attractive. The same racist language used throughout history. You diatribe belies your internal racist behavior. All men of different ethnicities are attractive.

    • Francois said:

      >It’s personal sexual preference and it’s NO BODY’S business but yours.

      Then why would it be OK to post it online so that the first thing people learn about you is your narrow mind? For me that says “rude and insensitive” and that’s a big turn off.

    • Welcom HOme said:

      Sexual racism sounds bad, because it has the word “racism” in it. I’m against it! The thing is, what the author is describing isn’t racism. The litmus test is, are there any ads saying “no whites/caucasions”? Yes, there are. So that makes THOSE people racist, too. Or, more to the point, ads demanding a certain bracket? Now we’re looking at agism, too!!

      Whatt’s next? I prefer eating meat over tofu, so I’m an animal hater? AND anti-vegetarian? And anti-Asian, becuase, you know, “tofu.”

      I could accuse him of being a hetrophobe, becuase he only address this alleged issue in the “gay” (his words, not mine) community. Note he isn’t even inclusive enough to address the entire LGBT community!! HE’S the narrow minded one here, folks!

      Now, before you go off your rockers here and accuse me of this and that, full disclosure: I’m a white middle aged formerly bisexual (now straight, I guess…) man who has been with older Asian women, younger Mexican men, Black women, a Black man…but always revert back to white women.

      Go and call me a racist, while I wonder if any of you have been as tolerant and open-minded as me.

      • Miguel said:

        You forgot to mention all of the straight guys that refuse to sleep with gay men. I guess that makes them all homophobic. What about the gay men that refuse to have sex with straight women. That makes them sexist. Right? You also forgot all the gay men that refuse to date large obese guys. I guess that makes them shallow. Some of you people throwing around the word “Racist” are bigots, and “Welcome Home” and I have just listed several of the reasons why.

      • Becca said:

        The fact that you believe that you are a former bisexual tells me all I need to know about you. You don’t stop being a sexuality you stop expressing it or you stop acting on it- this isn’t some fundie bible camp where you can peay away your gay side. Not to mention you have played the classic ” im not racist I have black friends” or in your case ex’s, card.

        Its racist when skin colour/race alone would be a deciding factor for you in dating a person. If all other things being equal you would date someone of your ‘preferred race’ over another: Congratulations! you’re racist- feel free to remove yourself from the gene pool and NOT reproduce if that is you, I promise, its probably the best thing you could do with your life for the world.

  2. ZL said:

    I wonder what ethnicity AJ is – and whether his skin tone and facial features are considered more ideal than ‘Black and Asian.’ It’s rare that you’ll see a Black or Asian guy saying, “No white guys…” … why? Because there are certain skin tones and facial features that are still idealized, even in 2013.

    Yes, its true that not everyone is going to be attracted to you in life. But saying “no Blacks,” for instance, contributes to the idea that Black is unacceptable, unwanted, less than. You may consciously say, “well it’s just a preference,” but it’s a fine line between having a preference and imbuing larger society with prejudiced beliefs – AND – teaching other people that it is okay to put others down publicly, for characteristics that are central to who they are.

    • CDP said:

      Not necessary, as a black male this happens on both sides. I see plenty of black guys that say ‘No Whites’. It’s not racist to have a sexual preference, I hate the way people sometimes go about announcing it.

      • Little Kiwi said:

        For your argument to have any weight we’d have to be living in a society were Black and White both have totally equal value in culture. I don’t need to tell you that despite the progress made in the last 60 years, black and white are still far far far farrrr from equal.

  3. DG said:

    As a black person I ask the commenter above…AJ….if you are not into Blacks or Asians why do you have to put it in your profile? It just makes you look narrow minded and inconsiderate to others feelings. Each time I come across a profile which states ‘No Blacks’ it makes me feel sympathy for the person posting as he will never achieve his full potential of having an open mind. And I say to myself: “His loss, he will never really know how good and fulfilling sex can really be”

    When someone contacts me who has “No Asians” added to his profile, even if the poster is as hot as hell, I never reply because with those 2 words he showed me how small minded and callous he is and those words says more about himself than his super sexy face and body pix.

    • Little Kiwi said:

      My (white) friends and I are the same way. If we get hit on by one of those “no fats fems asians or blacks” profiles, we let ’em know, straight up, “Sorry, we’re not into guys with your kind of preferences.”

      Every time. Funny thing, they usually respond with “that’s not fair!” yeah, well, that’s *my* preference, beotch – we prefer guys who don’t have self-hatingly homophobic and racist preferences. Werk.

  4. BM said:

    DG Nails it, and it is unfortunate. Xenophobia is intrinsic to the human condition and one would think that those in the LGBTQ community would be more self reflexive but it is unfortunately not the case…

  5. Alan said:

    No one over 30; 40; 50

    No fatties


    but is it okay to stay “BBC”?

    How about – latino+, black++?

    Its as often in reverse.

    • Miguel said:

      I don’t like white guys with twinkish body types. Does that make me a racist? I’m confused about this post. I’ve dated black men, asians, and hispanics (I’m hispanic myself). I’m more sexually attracted to white or hispanic bears. I guess that makes me a racist? Or are you referring to people putting it on their profiles on dating sites (something I don’t do)? Should I go around with a big red letter R on my chest for “Racist” because I don’t like skinny white boy-men with banana penises? I’d like to know what the solution here is. Should I just date these twinky white boys even though I’d never be able to get aroused by them?

  6. Miguel said:

    Honestly, some of you guys sound like you’ve been rejected by guys because of your race and you’re not happy with it. You can’t force someone to like you by throwing around the R-word. Maybe you’re just ugly. Maybe you stink. Maybe your facial hair isn’t attractive. Maybe you’re just an asshole, and by the tone of some of your posts, I think the latter might be true more than anything else.

    • DG said:

      Hi Miquel…this reply to you is not to pick an argument with you and be called an asshole but to clear up one thing which might not be clear to you.

      For me the article speaks to the people who add in their profile “NO blacks” NO asians” etc.

      Of course we all have sexual preferences but the article questions the necessity of adding these potent words to a profile. Is it really necessary to say that you are not into a particular ethnic group? And what message does it send to a young person seeing these discriminatory words for the first time. I think back to the first time I saw “No blacks” on a profile and I remember my heart sinking and feeling somehow less than. Thankfully over the years those words have lost their affect on my psyche and now I just say to myself “their loss” and move onto the next profile.

      You mention in one of your posts that you have preferences and you also remarked that you do not put in your profile words such as “NO blacks”. In that case, this article does not apply to you.

  7. Gary said:

    If we define racism as a system of advantage based on race, deciding to only date black men or men of color in an American context could be promoting sexual racism because you get to make that choice. There’s no doubt as a white man (controlling for aesthetics ability level) you can make this choice and have a fairly robust dating pool. As a black man, if I were to only date white men, I would not because the sexual politics of race in the gay community. Acknowledging this power imbalance and system of advantage is important. We also have to examine how our preferences came about – media, popular narratives.

    I think just as we meet strive for anti racism and feminism in a larger context we must do so within the Lgbt context as well.

    • Miguel said:

      Sorry, but I call BS. Your entire post just sounds like you have no idea WTF you’re talking about.

      “…if I were to only date white men, I would not [be a racist] because the sexual politics of race in the gay community”

      ROFL! You’re a racist too, and you don’t even know it.

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