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4 comments | Monday, February 05, 2007

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.



<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

While I share your disgust with the DL phenomenon, I am also disgusted by this interview or should we even call it that. In the name of arguing both parties missed the mark, in my opinion. Arguing points on a talk show does absolutley nothing to change the fact that the Black community today among its many issues has a crisis of sexuality. Because we have chosen not to talk openly and honestly about our honest sexual desires, many of us have chosen to paint a picture that is not completely honest. This discussion doesnt take place in our homes or in our churhces. And when discussion does take place it is done so in a manner that is colored by prejudice, ignorance and utter hatred. It has become very easy to prey on the homosexual community when seeking a scapegoat for the black community's sexuality crisis. It has become increasingly easy for the gay community to blame the church. This is a futile argument with no hope of resolution. Gay, straight, bisexual and otherwise must do some serious soul searching when it comes to how we express our sexuality. If you identify as Christian we must learn to live everyday by the grace that has been given to us through faith in the shed blood of Christ. Through this grace we must strive to understand the heart of Jesus Christ and live out his teaching. To Christian not non-Christian alike, let this be admonition to examine our chosen modes of sexual expression and ask ourselves is it healthy for my body, is it healthy for my mind and is it healthy for my spirit. With the understanding that everything that feels good is not necessarily good for us, if we cannot answer these three things affirmatively then maybe we should be questioning weather our mode of sexual expression should continue.

Galations 5:16 "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust(does not refer to sex only) of the flesh."

February 06, 2007 9:39 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

thought you would get a kick out of this.

DENVER - One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual."


Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in Tuesday's edition.

"He is completely heterosexual," Ralph said. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."

Ralph said the board spoke with people close to Haggard while investigating his claim that his only extramarital sexual contact happened with Mike Jones. The board found no evidence to the contrary.

"If we're going to be proved wrong, somebody else is going to come forward, and that usually happens really quickly," he said. "We're into this thing over 90 days and it hasn't happened."

Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals last year after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. He was also forced out from the 14,000 New Life Church that he founded years ago in his basement after Jones alleged Haggard paid him for sex and sometimes used methamphetamine when they were together. Haggard, who is married, has publicly admitted to "sexual immorality."

Haggard said in an e-mail Sunday, his first communication in three months to church members, that he and his wife, Gayle, plan to pursue master's degrees in psychology. The e-mail said the family hasn't decided where to move but that they were considering Missouri and Iowa.

Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town and the Haggards agreed.

"This is a good place for Ted," Ware said. "It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It's like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed."

It was also the oversight board that strongly urged Haggard to go into secular work

February 06, 2007 12:30 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

So far the "DL" has been defined by people like JL King and Oprah. Unles we as SGL people take hold of this term it will be added to the long list of negative words to describe who we are. I love what people like Deondray and Quincy are doing to take that word and use it as a way to help the world understand the pressures of homophobia on black men to conform to "Social Norms".

The DL can be something we hope goes away or something that we use to open minds. I am hopeful that we have the courage to use it with wisdom.

February 06, 2007 3:46 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I, too, was very shocked that J.L. King played us the way he did... though his choices in life (as they are related to his sexuality) don't reflect those that I have made in my life, I am very aware of the fact that he caused people to group us together.

The term "Down Low" or "DL" is offensive to me as well, Darian. Whenever I hear someone refer to themselves as such I try to steer away from that person.

I don't know what to say about the hate talk that is spewed at us at church, from the black community, and yes, even from each other. All I know is that it is not from God. We as homosexuals need to use the thick skins that we have developed from past attacks and stand against these atrocities. I don't know what would be the best way to do this on a community level, but I do know that I can be the best me I can be.

February 06, 2007 5:32 PM


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