RACISM AND HOMOPHOBIA ON GAYDAR AND OTHER 'DATING' WEBSITES

ricardo menezes
ricardo menezes 0 Comments
112 SignaturesGoal: 100

If you use GAYDAR or other similar dating websites you will have noticed people making comments such as: "No/not into Asians/Blacks" sometimes added by "sorry, that's just my taste". These comments are offensive and we don't say that face to face nor in any other public space. This type of comment virtually only ever refers to Asians and Blacks. Even though there are some users who are looking for Asians/Blacks/Latins in particular, they don't write "No Whites, sorry". Those comments are sometimes expressed in a very hostile or derogatory way, such as "NO ASIANS!", "NO GAM (gay Asian male)" and even "No Indians!". Are they really expressing their sexual preferences, or showing a more fundamental aversion to those races/nationalities People also feel that some comments such as "Whites ONLY" could be written in a way which is less aversive to ethnic minorities. Those comments remind us of very similar sign-posts that were put up in front of bars in the apartheid era. Many users of those websites are also offending effeminate gay men with comments such as "NO FEMS!", "NO CAMPS" or "No queens!" (sometimes added by further derogatory comments). Those hostile, aversive, derogatory comments are very similar, if not borrowed from the ones that effeminate gay guys sometimes face from the rest of society. Some users also refer to guys who are HIV positive in a very derogatory way, such as "I'm looking for DISEASE-FREE guys". The correct way to campaign against the spread of HIV is not to offend those who have contracted it. Those comments are either made recklessly or with a specific intention to offend; the effect is to damage people's self esteem. What's the point of the 500th anniversary of slavery if blacks, or any other race, are allowed to be treated like this What happened to gay pride There is currently no effective means of regulation of appeal. We therefore request all dating websites (GAYDAR.CO.UK, GAYROMEO.COM, GAY.COM, MANHUNT.NET etc): 1) To clearly prohibit or restrict any hostile or derogatory language toward any RACE, NATIONALITY, EFFEMINATE or HIV POSITIVE GAY MEN in any member's individual page or chat rooms, including: a) Expressing their preferences in a negative sentence (e.g. No/Not into/Don't go for/Dislike Asians/Blacks/Whites/Indians/Fems/Camps/Queens/Diseased etc). b) Using an exclusionary clause (e.g. "Whites ONLY", or "JUST looking for Whites") c) Giving unnecessary emphasis: e.g. "I'm looking for WHITE DISEASE-FREE men" (capital letters in a small letter sentence) 2) At the level of implementation, those websites could simply request their members to follow a standardised format or certain profile-writing guidelines whenever referring to those preferences: e.g. "I'm looking for (Asian, Black, Latin, White etc), masculine, HIV negative guys"; those websites could also create a box in which members could have the option to tick certain characteristics (including racial background, masculinity etc) which they look for in others. That's how people express themselves in paid dating adverts in newspapers or magazines. They don't generally write what they are not looking for, and restrictions to the use of derogatory language apply. 3) To create a report system that would allow members to easily report offensive language to those website's personnel. Following the report of offensive language, those websites could simply send an automatic message to that member saying that another member thought that the way he expressed his personal preferences was offensive, and suggest that he follows the profile-writing guidelines. Sign up now and let's say yes to tolerance and mutual respect on the web! It will also help if you send this petition out to friends!

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Links

The main campaigns or articles dealing with racism on gay dating websites: http://sexualracismsux.com/ http://www.andyquan.com/X/gam.htm http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/opinion/2005-3877.html Articles discussing racism in the gay community http://www.tatmultimedia.com/Websites/Journal/ http://www.voice-online.co.uk/content.phpshow=9598 http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/racism-gay-lesbian/2-white-racism-america.htm#cyber On the discrimination faced by effeminate gay men see: http://www.villagevoice.com/news/9851,goldstein,2411,1.html http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/racism-gay-lesbian/hatred-of-femininity.htm A sample of some of the major dating websites: http://www.gayromeo.com/ http://www.gaydar.co.uk/ http://www.gay.com/ http://www.datingdirect.com/ http://www.manhunt.net/

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