Stephen K Amos has opened up about his experiences of racism in the gay community, arguing that many gay men are guilty of bigotry despite often being victims of discrimination themselves.
In episode 4 of the Attitude Heroes podcast’ – available to listen to and download now – the comedian hits out at the worrying number of white gay men who will instruct black people not to approach them on dating apps, saying they are are not seeing them as people.
“When I see stuff that people write [on apps] where they’re so specific about what they want… whites only… you go ‘a) not only are you diminishing the pool [of people] that’s out there, but your statement you’ve let us know what a bit of a dick you are’.
“You can talk to people. You go ‘hi’ and then ‘not for me’ or whatever. But to dismiss an entire group of people…”
He adds: “I think I’ve done it before in the past: When someone said ‘no black people’, I’ve said ‘Why?’
“We didn’t have a very long conversation.”
Recalling the racism he’s received in person from members of the LGBT community, Stephen admits he didn’t find the gay scene “a welcoming place at all” when he first came out.
“Back then – and I know since then there a few black gay clubs – I naively thought that because we all had this thing in common, that it’d be a welcoming and accepting arena,” he says.
“But let’s not forget, just because one is gay, doesn’t mean you’re not a bigot yourself. Doesn’t mean you’re not a racist.”
He recalls: “I’ve had bouncers at clubs look you up and down in a certain way and tell you ‘You know it’s a gay club, don’t you mate?’ Because they’re also made an assumption about me.
“I’ve had somebody in a gay club come up to me and go, ‘Oh I really like black guys’. Good for you, well done! Do you want a medal?
“We fall into those hideous stereotypes, going ‘Oh look at you, as a six foot two strapping black man you must be well-endowed and good at sprinting.”