I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


“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 restaurant in the 1950s? 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.
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. I however, believe that sexual racism is wrong 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.

Rejection is always worse when you are not expecting it, and people can react to sexual racism in various different ways. Ten years ago it would have made me angry and I would have instantly questioned how the rest of the world was viewing me, but these days, I really don’t give a damn about the thoughts of people who are clearly incapable of at displaying common decency. In my young ‘gay days’ I didn’t attempt to ‘fit in’ with the majority and I am not going to start now.

I think we have a long way to go as a community in terms of integrating and embracing diversity…If we really want to be diverse we need to stop pigeonholing ourselves and clinging to an overarching identity, instead should look at diversifying ourselves. Racism and sexual racism will always be ugly scars in our society, but you cannot ignore the continued trend towards embracing racial diversity. Is the average gay man really any different from the rest of society? Will the LGBT community buck the trend towards greater racial integration? 


Sir Ian McKellen has joined forces with the noted chemist Sir Harry Kroto to co-write a protest letter to the Russian Government over its treatment of LGBTIs which has been co-signed by 27 Nobel prize winners.

The letter was published in full in the UK’s The Independent newspaper earlier today.

The letter is addressed to President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people and prominent Nobel laureates to sign it include the novelist JM Coetzee, geneticist Sir Paul Nurse.

According to McKellen and Kroto the letter was written to show that, ‘many senior members of the international scientific community show solidarity with politicians, artists, sports people and many others who have already expressed their abhorrence for the Russian Government's actions against its gay citizens.’

‘Protest is never easy but we hope that by expressing opposition to the new legislation it might be possible to encourage the Russian state to embrace the 21st century humanitarian, political and inclusive democratic principles which Mikhail Gorbachev worked so hard to achieve.’

In the letter Kroto says he has enjoyed ‘the tremendous friendship of Russian scientists’ during his career and would honor an invitation to return in 2014 but says that will be the last time he visits Russia unless the country’s law banning so-called ‘homosexual propaganda to minors’ is repealed.

McKellen writes in the letter about how he has been warned by the UK Foreign Office against speaking openly about his sexuality if he travels to Russia and that as a result he has had to decline invitations to attend Russian film festivals.

McKellen and Kroto have been friends since childhood.



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