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Aboriginal medical student exposes the racism he faces on Grindr

Aboriginal medical student exposes the racism he faces on Grindr

An Aboriginal medical student in Australia has decided to come forth with the racist messages he receives on Grindr to expose the racism present and alive among gay men.

Dustin Mangatjay McGregor, who is part Yolngu, part Greek, posted screenshots of the hateful messages on his Facebook, hoping to shame people publicly and to get more attention on the issue of racial discrimination within the community.

Speaking to SBS, he shares that he has been called everything from ‘petrol sniffer’ to ‘wog abo c***’ on the gay dating app.

‘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,’ said McGregor.

‘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.’


McGregor grew up on Milingimbi, an island off the coast of Arnhem Land in Northern Australia. He moved to Darwin when he was a teenager and currently lives in Adelaide.

He describes that the gay community has a certain race-based hierarchy:

‘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.’

grindr racist

McGregor added that there is no need for gay men to voice their preferences when it could potentially offend or upset others:

‘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, and while I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be more attracted to people of a certain racial background, voicing your preferences using offensive language is not.’

Speaking up for Aboriginal people, McGregor asserts that that racism in this day and age is totally unacceptable:

‘I’d like to say [it] surprises me in this day and age that so many negative stereotypes exist regarding Aboriginal people, but it’s something I’ve grown up with.

‘I remember when I moved to Darwin and students in my class, who were barely 13 years old, were making offensive racial remarks about Aboriginal people.

‘In my experience, people need to be taught from a young age that racism isn’t acceptable.’

grindr racist

Lastly, McGregor hopes that his posts would raise awareness to the reality that racism is still ‘well and truly alive,’ and that we as an already marginalised community need to continue to combat it.

‘From my experience people that are looking from the outside see the gay community as one “big happy family.”

‘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.’

H/t: New Next Now