Respondents were questioned about their experiences of different types of discrimination: racism, sexism or homophobia.
RACISM IN THE LESBIAN, GAY AND BISEXUAL COMMUNITIES
More than half the sample, 57%, said that they had experienced racism from the white LGB communities. A number of respondents said that the LGB community was no different from mainstream communities when it came to racism. The types of experiences varied
FACED WITH INDIFFERENCE OR AN UNWELCOMING RESPONSE:
African Caribbean Lesbian, 30-39 years
We went to a women’s holiday centre in Yorkshire. I thought it would be welcoming but the reception was cool. I felt that only white check shirt wearing lesbians were really welcome – the whole weekend felt more of a toleration of us rather than the warm welcome we had expected.
African man, sexuality not specified, 20-29 years
People have the tendency to make you feel ‘outside’, when the community should be inclusive.
BEING DEALT WITH IN A STEREOTYPICAL WAY:
African Caribbean Gay man, 40-49 years
I have been sought out in a club and asked where drugs are available.
DISCRIMINATION – THE LOW DOWN
Mauritius Lesbian, 30-39 years
Most lesbian clubs are geared to white people. If there are more than 10 black lesbians the security becomes more visible. Certain music is not played, as they don’t want to attract black lesbians. Went to one bar near closing time, a member of staff said the bar was closed but they had just let some other people in.
NAME-CALLING AND VERBAL ABUSE:
Black Gay man, 20-29 years
Someone I liked in a club said they didn’t want to talk to me because I was black.
Indian Lesbian, 20-29 years
At LGB conferences/workshops someone always brings up how homophobic Islam is. People feel justified in being racist because they are gay and believe that all black people are homophobic.
BEING TREATED AS A SEX OBJECT OR EXOTICALLY:
African Gay man, 30-39 years
White gay men treat me with contempt; I’m either a sex object or I’m invisible.
LACK OF AWARENESS OF LGBT BME NEEDS:
Lesbian of mixed heritage, 30-39 years
Lack of facilities/entertainment venues/acknowledgement of our differences – assumptions that we are all the same.
African Caribbean Lesbian 40-49 years
Generally white lesbians do not see a difference in our needs and so do not cater for us either socially (venues, music, food, events) or politically (need for our own spaces, support groups etc)
LGB projects and venues should address racism through training and awareness raising of both staff and users. Issues such as the following need to be challenged and addressed:
Assumptions and Stereotyping
Training by GALLOP and survey details by GALLOP
EDITED down BY JAY IN 2012