Is Having a Gay Racial “Preference” Actually Racism?

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You’ve seen them in gay personal ads for relationships or hookups – “No Asians” or “Whites Only.”   The people posting the ads would probably tell you that it is simply their “preference.”

But, is it really “preference,” or is it actually racism?

In the article, “Why Preferring to Date One Race Over Another Makes You a Racist,” the author argues that preferring one race over all others is indeed racism. He does, however, differentiate between “type” and “generalization.”

“Type” can be preferring things like a guy’s hair color, fashion sense, height, or weight.  But “generalizing” about a whole group of gay men because of their race is not really a preference, it is racism, based on a stereotype (obviously, a bad thing), or even a sexual fantasy or fetish (some might say this is not necessarily bad).

“If I asked you why you preferred not to date a certain race, the only answer you can possibly give me will be rooted with stereotypes, the same way you’re prejudiced if you think every redhead is an awful lover or all Asians are power bottoms.”

The author then goes on to explain why racial preferences as sweeping generalization are products of cultural brainwashing and that it is not necessarily the fault of the person who has racial preferences because it is a product of that person’s psychology.

In the end, the author suggests that “we need to expose ourselves to the damage of racial preferences in the gay community,” while admitting, at the same time, that many people fear the discussion because it is “uncomfortable.”

“The guys who claim not to like “Blacks” or “Asians” or “Hispanics” on Grindr are the same people to dismiss the subject when it arises while trying to defend their racist views, yet, they’ve also never dated a Black man or an Asian or a Hispanic in their lives.”

On another hand, is it also wrong to only date one race exclusively, even if it’s outside your own race, especially if it’s based on a stereotype, such as Asians being power bottoms? Isn’t that racism of another color (pun intended)?

In another article, “‘Sorry, I Don’t Do Asians’: The Dangers of Racial Discrimination in Dating,” author Jeremy Helligar charges, “”Racist” is the operative word to describe someone who would exclude someone from housing, from jobs, from sex, from love, based on ethnicity. Furthermore, no matter how people want to spin it, rejection for being of a certain race stings so much more than being overlooked because of your hair or eye color, or even your gender.”

In talking about a particular person in the article, Nolan, ironically a guy from Amsterdam who has lived in Bangkok for 10 years, who said, “I don’t find Asian men attractive,” Helligar writes:

“In his outright dismissal of Asian men, he was forming a sexual hierarchy based on race, while basically saying that all Asian men are created physically equal with little variation: ‘A few undesirable physical qualities fit all. I’ll put the entire Asian population in a box and remove them from my dating and sexing pool.'”

Helligar goes on to describe a German friend of his who said to him, “Jeremy, I think I might be racist: I’m just not attracted to Asian men,” as someone who he respected because his friend was willing to admit it. For Helligar, it is better to admit it and try to find out why, rather than to pretend your preference isn’t really racism when in fact it is.

Helligar also addresses white men who refuse to date other white men, “preferring” another race, like Asians, deeming that racist as well:

“‘Sorry, I just don’t find them attractive,” with no interest in self-reflection to determine why, is a cop-out. P.S. This applies equally to so-called “chocolate queens” and “rice queens” and “whatever queens” who shun white men. Racism isn’t just about rejecting minority groups or persecuted ones.'”

At another angle, Helligar also mentions Asian on Asian racial prejudice – gay Asian men who refuse to date their own kind, usually preferring white men, in that it is actually worse (in numbers) than Black on Black racism in the United States.

What is the answer here? Should gay guys who have a racial preference get over themselves and be more open-minded or seek psychological guidance as to why they are the way they are? Or should they just admit it – that their preferences are actually racist and live with it?

At the end of his article, Helligar poses an interesting question:

“I wondered what the future might hold in an increasingly mobile, diverse and app-obsessed gay world. With Grindr and Scruff and other online meat markets overtaking bars and clubs in boy-meets-boy preeminence, would virtual “walls” of segregation and apartheid one day replace velvet ropes as the number-one way to keep out the undesired?”

What is your opinion?

Tell us in the comment section below!

To read these two articles:

“Why Preferring to Date One Race Over Another Makes You a Racist” – gayguys.com

“‘Sorry, I Don’t Do Asians’: The Dangers of Racial Discrimination in Dating” – on huffingtonpost.com

Also, another interesting article on gay Asian racism toward other gay Asians:

“The Jack’d Racism Study: Asians are as Racist as Whites” – on angryhomosexual.com

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b brian topaz

b brian topaz

Former US Marine who worked for the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and was invited to Washington by the White House for the signing of the repeal. He also has been an active advocate in the Idaho LGBT community's effort to Add the Words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the Idaho Human Rights Act. He was a writer for and Editor of sfgam.com. Currently, he writes for and is the Editor/Content Manager of peppii.com.
b brian topaz

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting my gay friends used to pick on me cause I fell hard for Asian men (I am white) took me a while but I realized it was not a race thing but physical characteristics, I like men with dark straight hair, no body hair and that are fit, which 80% of Asian men match and 10% of all other races match. Have I dated other races that match those traits, yes, but super hard to find, simply put most other races are FAT. More reflection made me realize those are the traits of the first guy I fell for when I was 13 y/o. Am I racist? Idk, but I am 2.5 years into an amazing relationship with the most amazing guy, who happens to be Asian, was a top but turned versatile for me <3

  2. It’s super annoying how uppity everyone gets about race, but is so eager to throw people under the bus for their size. People have set points that are tough to get around in life. Maybe we should become more inclusive instead of less.

    Saying “you’re good enough because of your defining characteristic and you’re not because of yours” is an asshole thing to do.