The history of the Asian, African and Caribbean communities in the United Kingdom

The history of the Asian, African and Caribbean communities in the United Kingdom 

HOMOPHOBIA IN THE ASIAN, AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN COMMUNITIES

Men were more likely than women to cite homophobia as the main type of discrimination that they had experienced (29% of men compared to 17% of women), whereas women were more likely to cite racism (55% of women compared to 35% of men). This links up with an earlier point that male respondents are less likely to come out to families, friends and work colleagues, which may be due to a fear of experiencing further homophobia. 

DISCRIMINATION

More than half the sample, 57%, had experienced homophobia from the Asian African and Caribbean communities. People of mixed heritage backgrounds (80%) and Black respondents (61%) were more likely than Asian people (48%) to say this. This ties in with the fact that Black and mixed heritage respondents were also more likely to be open about their sexuality.

Most of the experiences included name-calling, verbal abuse and general homophobic comments. A significant proportion (19% of those experiencing homophobia from the Asian African and Caribbean communities) said that homosexuality was taboo in their communities. Some people mentioned that there was an ongoing ignorance within the communities that Asian African and Caribbean people could be gay, but, as indicated in the previous section this ignorance is demonstrated by white LGB communities and mainstream society too.

NAME-CALLING/VERBAL ABUSE:

Lesbian of mixed heritage, 30-39 years
When I came out to my friend at college he said God would punish me. I have also been spat at by a stranger whilst walking with my girlfriend. 

Caribbean Gay man, 30-39 years
I could write a book. Names like battyman and faggot have been shouted at me in the streets. In face-to-face settings, it’s a lot more middle class and insidious, ‘Are you married yet? Look at my sons wedding pictures, he has a baby daughter now you know!’ 

HOMOSEXUALITY IS UNMENTIONABLE:

African Gay man, 20-29 years
Homosexuality is a taboo… I am always ostracised as soon as people from Asian, African and Caribbean backgrounds know about my sexuality.

 

Caribbean Bisexual female, 20-29 years
They tell you it is wrong from a Biblical perspective. 

DISCRIMINATION

Respondents’ comments support a need to address homophobia in Asian African and Caribbean communities. However, any campaign would also need to address that white heterosexuals can be homophobic too – and that homophobia is not just a problem within the Asian African and Caribbean communities. However these communities have traditionally been faith-based and religion still plays a large part in their lives. Many religions, including Islam and Christianity consider homosexuality taboo.

In order to break down barriers, BLGB workers need to build links with sympathetic individuals in religious communities so that they can raise awareness of the specific needs of the BLGB communities and the discrimination that they encounter. In doing this they could: 

Address why Asian African and Caribbean communities consider homosexuality a taboo and how this belief has developed; 

Highlight the varied and rich histories of the BLGB communities; 

Build links with the discrimination faced by Asian African and Caribbean communities and the BLGB experience of homophobia. 

USE OF SERVICES 

RESPONDENTS WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES OF USING A WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES: 

Mainstream services. 

Lesbian Gay and Bisexual services. 

Black Lesbian Gay and Bisexual services. 

The majority of respondents had used mainstream services, including health services, counselling, and advice services.

Most of the respondents did not use services targeted at the LGB community, (or those targeted specifically at BLGB people), preferring to use mainstream ones.

The LGB media (such as The Pink, Diva, G3 and internet services such as Queercompany and Gingerbeer) were used by 34% of the respondents, with 79% finding them useful. 

USE OF SERVICES

People stated why they already prefer to use BLGB services or would use BLGB services if they were available:

BECAUSE IT GIVES ONE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY:

Indian Gay man, 20-29 years
It is useful to share thoughts with other like-minded individuals. The Asian community not only has the social phobia associated with being gay but I also have to deal with peer pressure, which in most cases is harder to deal with. Some other communities may not understand what kind of pressure it is. 

BECAUSE IT SUPPORTS ONES SENSE OF IDENTITY:

Indian Bisexual man, under 20 years
Because you feel you are not the only one with the same problem 

African Caribbean Lesbian, 40-49 years
I feel more comfortable with a group or service that understands my sexuality and my culture/colour BECAUSE OF ACISM/DISCRIMINATION: 

Lesbian, ethnicity not specified, 40-49 years
Because I don’t have to explain obvious things and I don’t have to deal with racism.

Lesbian of mixed heritage, 30-39 years
Black Lesbians and Gay men’s needs are distinct from their white counterparts as we suffer discrimination in a twofold manner (homophobia/racism).

 

RE – Edited by Black Members Rep Proud

Training by GALLOP 

EDITED BY JAY IN 2012

 


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