Busy Being Black
Theory in the Flesh with Professor Rusi Jaspal
Mar 26, 2020 · 58 min
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Much is researched, written and said about sexual racism in our communities. "No Blacks, no fats, no femmes, no Asians" are all terms any of us who’ve used dating apps have seen and those of us caught in the racist, fat- and femme-phobic crosshairs, we feel the pain acutely. My guest today, Professor Rusi Jaspal, is finding that what has become an ostensibly casual digital discrimination has real world implications on the lives of those that discrimination impacts.

Professor Rusi Jaspal began his research career trying to understand how British Pakistani Muslim men reconcile their religion and their sexuality, and has since gone on to lead the way in the UK on research specific to the lives of LGB BAME people. Professor Jaspal is truly unmatched, both in the scope of his research and the depth of his understanding of what it means to live - and oftentimes be invisible - as queer people of colour in Britain.

Among much else, his research finds that Black and Minority Ethnic men who have sex with men, who experience rejection from those they love, respect or admire, then enter into a gay scene that does not recognise or validate their lived experience, which makes them more prone to depression. That depression, in turn, makes those men more vulnerable to sexual risk-taking, like chemsex and condomless sex.

This conversation is big and rich and eye-opening. It adds some much needed context and texture to the conversations we have about the importance of coming out in our communities. Namely, that we have to create around queer people the environments, the societies and the cultures that accept them for who they are.

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@_busybeingblack is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives and Theory in the Flesh is made possible with funding from the British Podcast Awards Fund and Wellcome Trust.

Thank you to our partners, UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK and Schools Out.

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