Friday, October 20, 2006

Australian gay racism

"It's not just the women. Racism in the gay community has been a real problem for a long time but it's gradually getting better."

So says the very wise Jahteh on my previous post regarding Asian men and white women. She is quite right. I am probably repeating myself, but it would have been in the early days of my blog that I made mention of below.

One incident was when I was shopping with Asian friend in a large south eastern mega shopping centre. He was rich and dressed accordingly, I was poor and I was dressed accordingly. We went into an upmarket jeweler as he needed a new watch band. I did not speak to the shop staff, he did. But for some odd reason they kept addressing and looking at me. As they were explaining the intricacy of expensive metal watch bands, their eyes kept drifting from him to me and talking to me. It was weird and blatantly obvious to anyone watching. He spoke with barely an accent and was not that much younger than me, in case you think that they thought I was the paying sugar daddy. Weird.

I wish I had said, 'Hello, he is buying, not me. Sell your stuff to him'. Which leads me to when I did do something. The bar in question was called Jocks, later known as Gay Trade Bar. The very nice owners, (who invited us to one of their sex parties at their two story house in Fitzroy. Wish they had told us what it was when they asked us. You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties) later told me that the offending drag queen was mortified after my letter was published and received quite of bit of ribbing from fellow performers. In the eighties in wasn't unusual to hear racist comments in gay bars, especially from drags. But after my letter was published, (in 1998 I think) it was the last time I ever heard a racial joke from a stage in Melbourne.

I partly blame some acceptance of such jokes in Melbourne on one Doreen Manganini, who was supposedly part aboriginal, not sure which part though. She made it quite acceptable to tell black fellah jokes, protecting herself with her own aboriginality. The impressionable young take it as being quite acceptable.

It is less of an issue now. I see more and more equality between gay Asian and gay white. When I start thinking, why is that butt ugly asian doing with such a hot looking white dude, you just know it is on the way.

But while there is third world poverty, there always will be the older white male with the younger asian guy. Even when gay asians are empowered fully in this country, I expect you will still see it.

The words of my ex hairdresser, Singapore born, ring in my ears at times. While out socialising, a couple of drinks and a puff, I pressed him on the matter and he told me he would do whatever it took to get out of Singapore to a Western country. If he had to be someone's boyfriend for a while, then that was what he had to do. He is now tattooed, pierced, rides a motor bike and lives in Doveton North Upper and I expect he has a nice crop in his back yard and maybe a factory in his garden shed.

PS I knew one of the guys in the audience that night and he, and I guess his friend, were Malayasian, but the point stands. They may not have been.


  1. Good for you. It's hard enough to come out in Western families but worse in Asian ones. Then they have to put up with the perception that they're all submissive little 'Madame butterflies' just waiting for the right white man to come along. There's also a subtle racism within the Asian gay community with many preferring a western boy to an Asian one.

  2. Yeah, once I get to know a gay Asian well, I sometimes ask if he would go with an Asian guy. I am pleased when I hear a postive response, such as 'of course, why not'.

  3. Hey mate...
    My response to you "Is it really getting better?"

    I do wonder though by the numerous and continuous amounts of comments stating "no Asians" or preferences other than Caucasian or European, when it comes to gay meeting sites. A significant number of the profiles and gay men that I have came across have stated that it is their preference and right to have that preference - meaning Caucasian or European guys only. Is this still devaluing the identity and existence of that race, which I thought to mean "Racial DISCRIMINATION".

    Does preference mean complete exclusion or does it mean the ideal/nice to have but not strictly out of consideration?

    I find it tragic how many have tried to convince me that they weren't discriminating by asking me "why wouldn't I have sex with women?"
    This also makes me wonder if they thought being a homosexual is a choice? As if discrimination is the same thing.
    So what does being homosexual mean? Doesn't it mean liking the same sex? Doesn't different races have different sexes like men and women? Or is it only Caucasian and European that have men and women?

    Relating back to my response/question "is it really getting better?" My findings seems to suggest that it is more covert and it makes it more an effective poison to discriminate and set apart races in a negative way.

    We have experienced so much discrimination and yet why are we discriminating against each other?

    Anyone out there who only have a "preference" for a particular race have the conviction to wear a sign at work or in the greater public stating their preference?

    I like to see perhaps a gay police officer or a banker or anyone stating their preference... It is so Hitler and KKK (Ku Klux Klan) they have a preference too!

    1. Thanks for the comment Miko. While I take on board your issues with 'preference', it is not a requirement. Isn't it as simple as some people are very turned on by certain physical features? Have you perhaps seen a guy who you found really hot, but after being with him, there was something about him that didn't click with you?

      It just what physical features turn some people on.

      The have sex with a woman is a silly question. Why don't they have sex with someone of the same sex?

      I do maintain things are improving. You just don't see or hear the blatant racism you used to. It may be more subtle but people have to think twice about who they are talking to, as they don't know how people will react to something obviously racist.

      Maybe too much can be read into the word preference?


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.