Thursday, January 12, 2012

No Asians! Sexual Racism in Online Hookup Sites

via Out Magazine, by Aleander Chee

I more or less forgot about the Internet tricking grind. I’m happily settled with a man, and we don’t have one of those one-eye-over-the-shoulder relationships where we each wait for the other to leave the apartment and then hit the web for the day’s hookups.

So it was off my mind until this summer, when a Tumblr, Douchebags of Grindr, launched with a storm of ridicule aimed at particularly egotistical profiles.

Much of the mockery on the DoG blog is reserved for the guys whose profile photos consist of Bentley keys and Black AmEx cards, or ones like the arrogant hottie whose profile reads, “I choose you! You don’t choose me!”

But what caught my eye was that there was a special place in Internet Hell reserved for the ones who put NO ASIANS on their profiles.

The no asians proclamation is usually accompanied by no FATS/FEMMES/POZ, as if being Asian is something cured with a visit to the gym, doctor, or behavioral therapy.

There’s a temptation here to try and litigate with the no asians crowd -- “How can you say you’re not into Asians? What about Harry Shum/BD Wong/Daniel Dae Kim?” -- but that’s really beside the point.

Disturbing as it was to see, I decided to really think about it.

Last fall, Alex Rowlson, in his piece for Canadian gay mag Fab, wrote, “The culture of sexual liberation has been replaced by sexual segregation.” The thing is, if that happened, it happened a long time ago. Racial preference in the gay community is not new.

Twenty years ago, I moved to San Francisco after college and entered the bewildering maze of gay bars there that suggested gay life was more about race than about gender preference:

There were bars for white men to meet black men, black men to meet black men, white men to meet Asian men, Asians to meet Asians, and so on.

This Balkanized sexual landscape presented certain complications. I’m half Korean, half Scotch-Irish. Inside of these strict scenarios, I disappoint the rice queens, as well as the snow queens.

I have sometimes passed as white to those who didn’t ask questions. I’ve had guys ask if I was everything from Swedish to Mexican or African American.

If they didn’t ask, they’d engage in a guessing game. In the meantime, I’ve had boyfriends of many creeds. The only thing my boyfriends have in common is me.

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