Sunday, April 12, 2009

Multicultural Gays Online

Since the beginning of the web; lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) have found virtual communities to find support. Sites like Gay Cafe created a place where young and old LGBT's could be themselves and find others like them. Gays of color also found refuge in these chat rooms and later, dating sites.

However, there are few places online that connect or provide resources exclusively for Latino or African American gays. For minorities within the LGBT community, there is an additional stigma to being gay driven by a machismo prevalent in their cultures. This dynamic drives many to live a closeted existence and often makes these groups more susceptible to STDs including HIV.

Thrown in, the LGBT community is also not free of the racism that many Hispanics and African Americans endure. Often, minorities within the gay community find it difficult to connect within a primarily "Abercrombie-obsessed" ideal of beauty. Many Latinos and blacks complain that they are approached by gay white men whose attraction to them could be described as a fetish.

Recently, sites have begun to spring up to address the special concerns of these communities. QV Magazine, an online publication expected to launch in Spring 2009 plans to provide special coverage of issues that impact gay Latino men.

Yet for every QV Magazine, there are still more minority groups within the gay community who do not have a place of their own online. Lesbians of color, African American gay men and trangenders of different ethnic groups still need their own place on the web. With the infinite space available, it's just a matter of time before content is created to address their unique needs.

1 comment:

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