Since J.L. King's controversial appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the release of his best selling book "On The Down Low", this old but new phenomenon has taken center stage in homes, churches, and social gatherings across America.
One man's attempt to gain wealth from publicly disclosing the lies, infidelity and sexual denial he experienced during his relationship with his wife and male lover(s) has villified Black gay men and left us to defend our character.
There are very few venues where a discussion about the down low has taken place when Black men weren't portrayed as lying, deceitful, HIV carrying, cruel individuals.
I'm aware that there is a small percentage of men who take pride in identifying themselves as being on the DL, but what about the brothas who are living their lives honestly? Why is it that our stories are not being heard? J.L. King can sit on Oprah's couch but Keith Boykin has yet to receive an invitation, something is obviously wrong with this picture.
I've personally had about all I can take of the whole DL phenomenon. It's being talked about in books, music, movies and television shows. I'm genuinely excited about filmakers Deondray Gossett and Quincy Linear's opportunity to present The DL Chronicles on the HERE network, but it's bittersweet after the cancellation of Noah's Arc. As a Black gay man who is out, I personally don't want the world to attach my existence to anything with the term DL.
It's overblown and has given our opposition the ammunition needed to attack our community. In "Straight Up" a book written in response to J.L. King , Rev. Michael A. Stevens picks up where J.L. left off but uses religion as his form of attack. Jasmyne Cannick deals with him here .
Today I am officially sick of hearing about the DL and those men who are so masculine, but obviously not man enough to be honest with themselves and their partners. If I had one wish for today it would be to erase the moment J.L. King's book went into print and all of the drama that followed. One can only wish.