Sexual Racism in a Gay Community on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Revisiting the Latin Americanization Thesis Online

Jesus Gregorio Smith, University of Texas at El Paso


The aim of this investigation is to examine racism in a sexual context or as it shall be defined here, sexual racism, along the border town of El Paso, TX by expanding upon Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's (2002) Latin Americanization Thesis of tri-racial stratification that posits that the U.S. will reflect a three tier racial structure with the White race on top, then an intermediary group of Honorary Whites and a Collective Black category at the bottom. This study will expand upon the Latin Americanization Thesis by examining the intersection of race/ethnicity with sexuality. Specifically, I will add to this thesis by illustrating how sexuality influences the social construction of race, which in turn has implications for mate selection and sexual health in homosexual communities. Using in-depth interviews, data was collected from 16 self-identified African-American males, Mexican-American males, Mixed-race males and White-American males that have sex with men. Findings show that sexual racism is exhibited online within profiles of men who have sex with men dating sites. Analysis revealed that sexual racism manifested as race-based sexual rejection, sexual fetishism, as well as sexual stereotypes. Those in the top White strata and Honorary White strata were more desired then those occupying the Collective Black. Those in the top White strata were thought to use condoms more regularly then those in the bottom two stratas. Theoretical and research implications are further explored.

Subject Area

GLBT Studies|Latin American Studies|Ethnic studies

Recommended Citation

Smith, Jesus Gregorio, "Sexual Racism in a Gay Community on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Revisiting the Latin Americanization Thesis Online" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1513118.