A university student has opened up about the frequent racist messages that he receives through online dating apps, SBS reports
Dustin Mangatjay McGregor has Yolngu heritage, which means he comes from a group of Indigenous people from the north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.
The student, who currently resides in Adelaide, SA, has become all too familiar with receiving racist insults on gay dating app, Grindr. McGregor has shared screenshots that he has started to keep as a record on his personal Facebook page, in an attempt to shed light on how prevalent racism is in the gay community.
“From my experience people that are looking from the outside see the gay community as one ‘big happy family’.”
He continues: “When in reality that's not necessarily the case. It's disappointing, as you might think that an oppressed group would help lift other marginalised people, yet here we are beating each other down."
Indigenous Australians are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, who have descended from the original groups who inhabited the country and its surrounds, before European colonisation.
McGregor has found that the gay community of Australia, particularly in the online community that apps such as Grindr dominate, there seems to be a hierarchy that is topped by good-looking white people, and treats ethnic minorities as subordinates.
“The white, attractive male is at the top of this pyramid and they command the attention, the power, Asian and Aboriginal men are usually at, or come close to, the bottom."
Opening up about the most common slurs that he has seen, he says, “The line ‘no rice or spice’ is a common quote on people’s profile description and I'm regularly calling people out on Grindr for promoting these comments. I've also noticed that the people who say these things are usually white men."
Though he understands that people have different preferences when it comes to who they are sexually attracted to, McGregor finds the way that these views are voiced through offensive language as extremely problematic, stating ‘petrol s******’, ‘filthy’ and “wog a** c***’ as a few of the slurs that he has been directly targeted with. McGregor is also part Greek.
“People were shocked. Some of them couldn't believe that I, who am light-skinned and consequently privileged in that regard, receive racial abuse at all,” he says.
Admitting why he decided to share these posts, McGregor states that he wishes to highlight how prevalent the issue of racism is to this day, after having to personally deal with it on such a regular basis. He notes how even his friends within the gay community had been shocked to find out about the abuse that he receives all too often.
“Some of my gay friends were particularly astounded and told me that they've not received any form of abuse like that in their entire lives. I think overall these posts have raised awareness to the fact that the struggle to combat racism is still well and truly alive.”
Words: Georgios Hadjimichael
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