Reality television is a guilty pleasure for many of us and we often find ourselves screaming at the tv because the Bachelor gave the last rose to the wrong bitch. These dating shows are definitely rich sources of entertainment but do offer a perspective into the harsh reality of how race is a considerable attribute in types.
Shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are often criticised for lacking diversity and reflect badly on production and casting. Many of these shows often feel obliged in promoting a sense of diversity by casting one to a couple of ‘ethnics’ only to see them go home within the first couple of weeks.
A new dating show called Finding Prince Charming premiered last month on American cable station Logo TV. The show is basically The Bachelor for gay guys. This show has caused so many controversies… for obvious reasons but also due to its casting. Many on Twitter have voiced out saying that there is not enough diversity within the cast which reflects the current problem of dating apps, and the gay community in general. Here are a few tweets of viewers voicing their opinions on the show itself and its casting.
Also, watch the trailer for Finding Prince Charming here.
In the past and even till this day, the LGBT community has suffered the hardships of discrimination and overall negative attitudes from society. Many have looked down upon people who identify themselves as LGBT and are often excluded and rejected by family, friends, workplaces, and society in general due to the negative stigma placed on them.
In saying this, it is surprising to discover that the concept of homonormativity exists within such an already neglected community. Just like heteronormativity, homonormativity is the idea that an ideal image and a strict quota should be adhered and conform to in order to be respected and treated equally by other gay guys. This involves lifestyle choices as well as behavioural and physical attributes that should be adopted.
The LGBT community is often misrepresented in mainstream media due to the growing effect of homonormativity. This can be seen through gay characters on television and in movies often portrayed as middle class muscular white men. This results to the portrayal of a small piece of the puzzle and often a false depiction of the community as a whole.
This essentially can be seen as adding to the problem of sexual racism and thus the neglect of certain groups of people based on what isn’t classified the social norms of the gay community.
“Intelligence Welcomed… Ironic.”
It seems as if people automatically find out they have set of balls when it comes to voicing their opinions online. When it comes to dating apps, there is definitely a sense of entitlement present with some finding… creative ways in stating their preferences. These often are intended to be funny but can come off as racist and derogatory to some within the community.
Youtube star Davey Wavey, who creates LGBT-related content, had gathered a bunch of gay Youtubers to react to racist Grindr profiles and discuss the growing sexual racism on dating apps and within the gay community.
“…if they do hit on me, it’s sort of fetishism”
The other side of sexual racism is discussed. Guy Anthony talks about his experiences and being hit on based on his looks, he describes this as feeling fetishised for being black. Although many talk about sexual racism as the exclusion of someone based on their looks, it can also regard the fetishising of an individual based on ethnicity and exclusively dating someone for that fact alone. It is often interesting to see the other side and see how both could be considered as demeaning.
Check out the video here and sound off in the comments section.
“Hey, I’m a GAM looking for discreet NSA with a GWM, sorry, no fems”
I’m pretty sure none of those words made sense to some of you. For those who are less familiar with the lexicon of gay dating apps, here are a few terms to familiarise yourself with, just in case you find yourself lurking curiously on Grindr, Scruff or any other of the countless apps.
Bear – A stocky gay guy usually with body and facial hair.
Discreet – A term usually describing a guy who is not necessarily out of the closet or don’t associate with the gay scene.
Fem – A gay man who has feminine qualities from the way he acts to the way he dresses.
GAM – ‘Gay Asian Man’.
GWM – ‘Gay White Man’.
“Looking?” – An opening term usually asking if someone is looking for NSA (see below).
NSA – ‘No Strings Attached’ or casual sex.
Rice Queen – A white man who exclusively is attracted to Asian men.
Sticky Rice – Asian men who are exclusively attracted to other Asian men.
Twink – A slim young gay guy (usually hairless).
“No Fats, No Fems, No Asians” – An unfortunate proverb (ironic or not) becoming more prevalent within the gay community. The rise of apps like Grindr have led to many guys stating who they’re trying to avoid rather than who they are looking for. This often disregards groups of people based on their ethnicity or other physical attributes.
Commentary about the nuances and habits on gay dating apps are rarely brought up in mainstream media due to its niche and sensitive nature. Season eight of reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race saw contestant, Kim Chi, talk about her experiences on dating apps and often being neglected and labelled certain words based on her ethnicity and physicality.
Check out the clip of Kim Chi reflecting on the culture of ‘No Fems, No Fats, No Asians’ here.
Upon the episode airing, Kim Chi released shirts with the phrase “Yas Fats Yas Fems Yas Azns” Promoting a sense of “loving yourself and those around you. The labels that some people may use to break you down are what give you character. There’s nothing that would make me happier than an inclusive society without labels” Purchase your shirt here.