Australia. It’s not all sunshine, sandy beaches and koala bears.
Dustin Mangatjay McGregor is a 23-year-old Yolngu man. The Yolngu is group of Aboriginal people who originally inhabited north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Because of his ethnic origin, McGregor says he regularly receives racist messages from guys on Grindr. Now, he’s speaking out about it.
“There’s a hierarchy in the gay community,” McGregor tells the Sydney Morning Herald. “The white attractive male with the European background is at the top of the pyramid. The further you are away from that ethnicity or body image the more you’re shunned in the gay community.”
McGregor says he’s been called pretty much every derogatory term under the sun, and more often than not the insults are completely unprovoked. Sadly, this is nothing new to him.
“I’d like to say 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,” he says. “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.”
Recently, McGregor says he eliminated the word “Aboriginal” from his profile just to see what would happen.
“I wondered if people would notice such subtle changes in my profile and they did,” he said. “I was flooded with messages. There was so many more–I lost count. But when I changed it back there wasn’t as much interest.”
Now, he hopes that by speaking out about the problem, he will make people think twice before making racist and insensitive remarks to people they meet online.
“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,” he says. “I think overall these posts have raised awareness to the fact that the struggle to combat racism is still well and truly alive.”
Scroll down to see some of the awful things complete strangers have said to McGregor…