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Chuck Knipp has been criticized for his drag queen character Shirley Q. Liquor, who utilizes blackface, for perpetuating negative stereotypes of African-American people.

The US LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) population includes people from all religions, ethnicities, races, and cultures. Racism in the LGBT community is the occurrence of racial prejudice within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Generally speaking, racial tolerance and diversity, are celebrated within some LGBT communities. As a population that suffers from homophobia, and transphobia, there is a natural inclination to align with other populations that suffer from various forms of discrimination. There are many social justice organizations that work on multiple issue platforms to eradicate discrimination based on race, class, religion, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

However, there continue to be reports of racial discrimination within LGBT communities all over the United States.



  • Black and Hispanic Female to Male (FTM) transsexual men or transmen, report a sharp increase in violence and harassment from police and security while driving or in retail stores.[1]
  • A 2009 survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in the United States found that supermajorities of surveyed LGBT people of color believed that there was as much racism in the LGBT community as the general population. The breakdown varied by race, however, as they described how they were treated by white LGBTs. African Americans, Latinos, and Mixed-race people feel most that they are "celebrated, because diversity is a good thing", while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders report more being harassed, excluded, and ignored. Gay and bisexual men of color universally complained about being sexualized and fetishized, for African Americans and Latinos as "trophies", and Asian Pacific Islanders as subservient.[2] In terms of media exposure, White homosexuals' perception of African American SGL men may be formed by the images in the gay media. However, there, the limited images of African American SGL men generally fall into one of three categories: celebrities, public health or social service announcements or Blacks in the presence of white men. The San Francisco Department of Public Health's publications’ target audience – mainly white – may see African Americans only in AIDS public announcements. Thus, “other races” mainly associate African American with AIDS and other public health or social issues. Meanwhile, the messages may not reach men living in San Francisco’s African American SGL ghetto since the publications are not marketed to them. In fact, African American SGL men may feel alienated and be turned off to those publications. Black men with same-sex attraction also are stigmatized by gay men of other races objectifying and eroticizing them as “big black bucks, big black dicks, dangerous sexual animals, Mandingoes, primitives, infantile, beastly, rough thugs, etc."[3]
  • In August 2008, the Black AIDS Institute published Left Behind: Black America—A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic. The report asked how an independent Black America would compare to the rest of the world. It found that Black America, as its own country, would have an epidemic on par with those that have been targeted for emergency aid in the global epidemic. An independent Black America would have, among other things: More people living with HIV than seven of the 15 countries targeted for special assistance by the U.S.; More people living with HIV than just 16 countries;

An HIV prevalence greater than just four countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa; A lower life expectancy than Algeria and the Dominican Republic; An infant mortality rate twice that of Cuba. [4]

  • According to a 2009 study on social and sexual intermixing between racial and ethnic groups among gay, bisexual, and SGL men in San Francisco, black gay men were three times more likely to have sexual partners that were also black, than would be expected by chance alone. In addition, black gay men were the least preferred of sexual partners by other races and were believed to be riskier to have sex with, which can lead to men of other races avoiding black men as sexual partners. This new research hints that the social and sexual networks of black gay men, constrained by the preferences and attitudes of non-black gay men, may explain the risk of more rapid spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and higher sustained prevalence of HIV infection in black gay men. While black Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, most studies have found that black gay men don't engage in higher risk sexual activity any more frequently than other gay men, H. Fisher Raymond and Willi McFarland of the San Francisco Department of Public Health point out in a report in the journal AIDS and Behavior.[5]
  • According to a 2008 study, racism against gay Asian/Pacific Islander men leads to socially and contextually prescribed sexual roles for that may also contribute to the practice of unsafe sex among this group.[6]
  • According to a 2000 survey conducted of LGBT African-Americans in nine U.S. cities, a third of respondents reported negative experiences in predominantly white LGBT organizations and with white LGBT persons in bars and clubs.[7]
  • In 2005, Les Natali, the owner of a gay bar named Badlands located in San Francisco, was criticized by the city's Human Rights Commission who determined that thirteen instances of racial discrimination by the staff occurred. Examples include refusal for entry by African-Americans, white patrons being served first even though African-Americans were first in line among others.[8] Badlands was picketed by a diverse group of community activists over several weeks to bring attention to the situation and a group, And Castro For All (AC4A) was formed that has continued to promote dialog about racism in LGBT communities.
  • In 2006, there were reports of verbal attacks on gay Latinos by gay whites in The Castro district of San Francisco. John Mendoza, a protest organizer against racism in the Castro, said he was told by a gay white male to "go back to Mexico, you fucking wetback, where you belong".[9] A rally was staged in response.
  • Drag queen and performance artist Chuck Knipp has been criticized by anti-racism advocates for his character Shirley Q. Liquor. Knipp performs his act in blackface, and makes comments about blacks and black culture which some people consider offensive. Several protests have taken place and Knipp has canceled several of his shows.[10]
  • Some LGBT media outlets have been criticized for not putting a racially diverse representation of gays and lesbians in their works, like magazines such as The Advocate and gay-themed television series such as Queer as Folk and Will and Grace.[11][12]
  • The late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe produced a work called The Black Book which many gay, African-American artists have called fetishistic, racist, and demeaning.[13][14]

See also


External links

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