Anti-Asian sentiment amongst a sample of white Australian men on gaydar
Riggs, Damien Wayne
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Whilst the homogenizing descriptor 'gay' is often used in a singular sense to refer to 'the gay community,' research has increasingly recognized that individuals within gay communities are as diverse as they are within the broader community. Importantly, recognition of this diversity requires an acknowledgement of the fact that, just as in the broader community, discrimination occurs within gay communities. The present study sought to examine the degree to which racism occurs within gay men's online communities (in the form of anti-Asian sentiment expressed in the profiles of a small number of the 60,082 White Australian gay men living in five major Australian states whose profiles were listed on the website gaydar.com.au during October 2010), the forms that such racism takes, and whether any White gay men resisted such racism. The findings report on a thematic and subsequent rhetorical analysis of the profiles of the sub-sample of 403 White gay men who expressed anti-Asian sentiment. Such sentiment, it was found, was expressed in four distinct ways: 1) the construction of racism as 'personal preference,' 2) the construction of Asian gay men as not 'real men,' 3) the construction of Asian gay men as a 'type,' and 4) the assumption that saying 'sorry' renders anti-Asian sentiment somehow acceptable. Whilst the numbers of White gay men expressing anti-Asian sentiment were relatively small, it is suggested that the potential impact of anti-Asian sentiment upon Asian gay men who view such profiles may be considerable, and thus that this phenomenon requires ongoing examination.