Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Gay, Men of Color, Sexual Racism, Queers of Color Critique

Major Advisor

Nancy A. Naples

Associate Advisor

Marysol Ascencio

Associate Advisor

Debanuj DasGupta

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Recent scholarship on the experiences of gay men of color have found that contemporary gay life is marked by high levels of racism directed towards gay men of color by gay white men, with much of it manifesting as negative sexual attitudes towards, and sexual exclusion or fetishization of, non-white men. In fact, several studies have now shown that gay white men are much more likely to prefer members of their own race and actively exclude non-white men as potential sexual partners than any other group. Similarly, gay men of color themselves are much more likely to prefer white men over other men of color as well. Given these experiences, the concept of “sexual racism” among gay men has garnered widespread mainstream attention in media outlets. While the idea of sexual racism has been widely discussed in the popular press, there have been fewer attempts to systematically examine how such racialized hierarchies of desire are constructed and maintained in the gay community, understood by gay men of color, and the impact these racial hierarchies have on them. In this dissertation, I attempt to address how a racial hierarchy of desire is created by “gay media,” how sexual racism is experienced by gay men of color, and examine the consequences of sexual racism. Doing so, I argue that much more than simply “personal preferences,” gay racial desire is a consequence of the ways that whiteness has come to be seen as being normative within the gay community and has a significant negative impact on gay men of color. At the same time, I also argue that gay men of color actively confront dominant constructions about race and actively challenge racial hierarchies of desire, thereby challenging the “white racial frame” that constructs racialized hierarchies of desire.

Available for download on Wednesday, September 05, 2029