Queer beauty influencer is using the coronavirus to send a powerful message about racism

Ethan Peters in a make-up 'mask' which reads 'the only virus present is racism'

Beauty influencer Ethan Peters created a striking mask look to send a message about the racist response to coronavirus.

Gay make-up artist and social media personality Ethan Peters spoke out after reading reports of racism against Chinese people being targeted because of the coronavirus crisis.

The teenager shared a video of himself creating a surgical mask-inspired make-up look to his 484,300 TikTok followers with the message: “With the coronavirus being a serious issue, racism towards Asians is more prevalent than ever.

“But viruses don’t have a racial preference. So stop being racist and wash your hands.”

@ethanisupremeeBlow this up so people get the message ???? ##coronavirus ##corochallenge♬ all of the stars edited – evintage

Ethan told PinkNews that he was inspired to speak out against racism after opening up about his own struggles as a young gay man.

Ethan gave an interview to Vice in July 2019 in which he revealed the treatment he’d endured at the hands of his school.

“It was the summer of 2017 and I’d just hit 100,000 followers,” he said.

“My [private Christian] school called me into the office and said the school board and the parents have concerns about my social media.

“Legally they couldn’t tell me to my face that it was because I was gay or that I wore make-up – which, by the way, I never wore to school – but they said [my social media activity] violates their moral conduct code.”

Ethan said that after seeing the way the article resonated with his fanbase, he was motivated “to find ways to make a positive difference using my platform”.

“The ‘mask’ is just one of many ideas I have lined up that can help make the world a better place,” he told PinkNews.

Coronavirus fuels reports of racism.

As world powers scramble to respond to the coronavirus crisis, authorities have reported a number of related racist incidents towards people of east Asian ethnicity.

On February 24 a Singapore man of Chinese ethnicity was attacked by a group of people on London’s Oxford Street, with one shouting “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country” as he swung.

In Southampton, four students reported being targeted with abuse at around the same time. One had a stone thrown at them, and was told to go back to their “f**king country”.

Another, who was wearing a facemask, was called a “f**king virus”.

Stop Hate UK released a statement on March 3 confirming it had received an increased number of calls to its helplines “from people experiencing racism, discrimination and verbal abuse, arising from perceptions that they are members of the Chinese community and therefore likely to be carriers of the coronavirus”.

“We find this deeply concerning and we want our Helpline areas to know that we are here to help, advise and reassure anyone affected by such incidents,” the group said in a statement.

“Remember – disease does not discriminate; the coronavirus outbreak is not about ethnicity, and such associations are neither helpful nor acceptable.”