Just going through my luggage, clearing out some things to make way for enlightenment
Tuesday, March 28, 2006Hard to Find... Part 2?
A few weeks ago I posted about how Steve Harvey pissed me off on the morning drive. Well it seems all the radio personalities are chiming in about the "DL" brothers. The following was posted in one of my Yahoo Groups last night:
I was listening to the Doug Banks Show in my drive to work, this morning. In the entertainment section, Co-host Dee-dee mentioned that once again, B.E.T. will have a show focusing on "DL" Black men and the secret lives they lead. Of course, one of the main people on the show will be J.L. King and DL "victim" Terry McMillan. As the announcement for this show continued, one of the co-hosts said: "Why don't they just tell people and be upfront about it and everyone will be ok?"
There in lies my question(s) for the day: even though i hate the term "DL", In the black community as a whole, is being a "Down Low" man a necessary thing for some men? As a hypothetical question: could a man like LL Cool J come out and say he was gay or bisexual and everyone be ok with it and he still keep a successful career? And remember, we are part of a culture where black males are supposed to be athletes, straight thuggish, strong and screwing 90 in a week, and any deviation from that is a sign of mental or spiritual illness and weakness.
When this whole thing got started, many gay men jumped up and said they can't stand even talking with a married man that still wants to be with men. Is that fair? Gay black men, most of all should understand how our society shuns and instantly hates a thing it doesn't understand.
For those of you interested in watching the BET DL special, the in formation is listed below.
Posted March 23, 2006 -- Have you ever found out that a guy you know was on the down low? Are you a brother on the down low?
After watching "Down Low Exposed" on Tuesday, March 28 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), chat with J.L. King, the controversial author of the tell-all book, “On the Down Low,” and the follow up, “Coming Up From the Down Low,” Wednesday, March 29 at 1 p.m. (ET), 11 a.m. (PT).
On a revealing Oprah appearance, King exposed a subculture of men who sleep with men and also with their wives or girlfriends. King admitted to sleeping with men while married to his wife.
It appears to me that America still has no handle on what being on the down low really means. Keith Boykin's book does a good job of explaining things, but Oprah hasn't had him on her show yet. I suppose I can't fault a sistah for cashing in on sensationalism before enlightening the people.
In attempt to answer those questions I have to begin by saying that being on the down low is necessary for some men in every community. What if a man is a married preacher or politician and he's running around with his secretary? That's something he would want to keep on the low. Down low = discreet.
As for sexual orientation, there is no need to run around disclosing unless there will be some skin slapping and even then, there are exceptions. However, it’s best to be honest if there is a chance someone could be hurt. Public disclosures are certainly not necessary. People’s sexual habits should not be news, unless of course, they result in public trials.
I do believe LL could come out and be ok. He’s already had a successful career. Far too successful, considering the amount of talent he brings to the game, but I do believe he could survive an admission of homosexuality or bisexuality.
If he was gay, I do believe Luther was out to his friends and family and I don’t believe he made a conscious effort to deceive the public. I believe he would have remained successful, simply because he was talented. Diz Ya Boy did a wonderful post about Paul Winfield, who was a successful, working, GAY, black actor. He worked right up to his death and lived well.
I don’t agree that we are bound by cultural expectations to be any of those things mentioned. I can use Will Smith as an example. He’s not “an athlete, straight thuggish” or “strong and screwing 90 in a week” and he’s very successful. Babyface is another example. Maxwell has already been called out. John Legend and Kanye West have been suspected. I believe each of these brothers’ careers would survive if the world discovered they were getting their backs blown in on the regular.
As for the last ridiculous question… of course gay men should shun the advances of men who are married or in committed relationships. What the hell do you want with someone else’s trash?