Comment: Black Pride and Prejudice

Published: August 20, 2010

Despite the wet weather in London, UK Black Pride held its fifth annual event in Regent’s Park last Saturday. The day after, I was lying in bed catching up on the news online when I saw a article on the festival. The comments from some readers towards the black and Asian community caught my attention. These posts alarmed but did not surprise me. This led me to think, is gay racism a fact or myth?

As a mixed-race gay man, I have always been honest and open with my white friends about my own experiences of racism. A sad fact of life is that people who are visibly ethnic and gay are not immune from racism from either white gay or straight people. I have experienced my own fair share of racism and discrimination, direct and indirect. To be told often that I am "not like the others" is an insult to my race and identity.

It doesn’t matter how nice you are as a black or Asian person, how well you get on with white people, how many white friends you have or how good-looking and cool you are, no one is immune from racism. Prejudice in all forms is as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the mainstream, it’s pointless saying otherwise. It is naive to think that just because white gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people themselves are a minority and have their own challenges in life, that they are welcoming to visible ethnic gay or indeed straight people.

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