The Downlows Affect on the Mentality of Black Women

I was on Facebook the other day , going through my normal routine of checking posts and reading articles others had posted when I stumbled upon an interesting post of someone I had randomly added. Her name is Deborah Cooper. She is notable columnist who wrote a popular article on how “The Black Church was keeping Black Women Single”.  Her page had something about guys on the down low so I clicked to see what she was talking about. It seems any time you bring up the topic of “down-low” brothers (ie. in the closet homosexuals) women come in whirlwinds adding their comments. I was intrigued to say the least especially when they began to equate bisexuality with being down low.  I decided to chime in. I thought “Hey, surely I can have a rational discussion and perhaps give my two cents on the subject.”  But I was suddenly the object of their anger. I was the down low brother they hated. I was every lying, cheating, black male they had heard about or been hurt by.  I could clearly tell I was not welcome in their facebook thread.  But I took note of their feelings  and words and raised questions in my own personal mind that will probably never get answered.

Here’s a copy of the conversation:

  • January 28 at 7:21pm ·

    Lexi Free 

    This has nothing to do with your GAYness. But all to do with your COWARDness. 

    Montre: “SO why would i even tell people? It doesnt promote me positive in anyones eyes.”

    So why tell? Because if you plan on using HER to HIDE from the stigma… of SOCIETY, then SHE has EVERY right to KNOW.

    So fuck the dumbshit your SILLY ASS is spitting out of your mouth. Yes some people have a problem with accepting people GAY lifestyle. I don’t and most people DON”T. You, the “Bisexuals”, are the ones who are homophobic and afraid of being homosexual.

    I don’t care. I don’t hate homosexuals, I don’t discriminate against them, and I damn sure as hell don’t sleep with them, KNOWINGLY. So please, do tell.See More

    January 28 at 7:30pm · · 2 peopleDeborrah Cooper and Mauricio Dye like this.

    Montré Bible lol i don’t date women to hide from anything. If i decide to be with  a female its because i find something truly attractive about her that i feel benefits my life and I feel that our lives coincide in some way. And when I have been in relationships ive still claimed to be bisexual. but frankly, its whatever, i know what Im attracted to and have been attracted to all these years. If all women thought, spoke and acted like you then I would seriously consider myself homosexual. 

    January 28 at 7:36pm ·
  • Lexi Free You should “consider” yourself homosexual. Hell, the rest of us already consider you as such. Now you can just pretend I’m a man and FRENCH KISS MY ENTIRE ASS! Your DL ass gets no sympathy from me. I’ve grown bored with going back and forth with you. You are irrelevant now. But if you want to keep talking shit to me about your downlow lowdown ass denying your sexuality and hiding behind the label of BISEXUAL,then meet me at Hartsfield Jackson dammit and get the Bitch slapped outcha!!

Now for the record I am NOT down low (hell i’m not even dating females right now) even though she perceived me as such and I don’t believe all bisexual men are down-low nor is calling yourself bisexual way to avoid homophobic backlash (because frankly most heteros only see GAY! just like black folks consider bi-racial kids black) got it. But for that moment, I was not just the random bisexual or gay guy who was adding some comments about my OWN experience. I was villanous down low brother. I’m not sure when I became that. I’ve been out and proud for a moment now. I realized that people believe in bisexual men like they believe in Santa Clause.  I don’t think it’s my job to debate myself blue about my personal sexual orientation…I mean it’s just that…personal.  People barely understand sexuality in itself outside of heterosexuality and when it comes to Black community there really isn’t that much education on it.

My hope is that people will understand that just because you don’t understand someone’s sexuality doesn’t invalidate it. But this blog is not about sexual orientation vs sexual preference and what we believe to be true or not true. It’s not that at all. It was the whole attitude that people have in the black community when it comes to these down low brothers. Now I in no way condone this lifestyle especially if a man is married or in a long-term relationship with a female. I have always informed women (and men) that I was interested in about my sexuality. Some could not deal with it and some could. I realized everyone is different and we have to give people the power of choice…simple and easy.  But in that same way, for that small moment online, I was the target. I thought to myself,

“no wonder black men stay in the closet. They have to deal with so much hatred” (I say they as if I’m not a black man hahaha)

But my personal experience is not like everyone elses and don’t expect people to be like me or make decisions like mine. But I do understand. As a black brotha, I understand that we get so much discrimination for simply “being” . There is somewhat hyper-masculine ideology of what a black man is . And if you find yourself falling short of that you may have to either over-compensate and play a role that is not in fact your actual persona or find acceptance outside of the black community. You see this often with young men who maybe will enjoy rock and classical music over rap and hip hop or may like dating outside their race.  These are all social issues. I don’t wanna go on a tangent.

MY POINT: Young Black Men have a lot of pressure from the world at large to be seen as strong and not weak.

If being a thug is glorified  as being stronger than going to college then you see the young men gravitate to that.

I’m sure all men regardless of race go through this…but when you think BLACK MAN you think WHOA! let me cross the street I’m scared. lol. –well some people. When it comes to young men who are bisexual or homosexual, the black community has (from religious and social training) taught that men who engage in such activities are weak, sissies, wanna-be women, and more or less …dare i say the word…abominations. The problem is that homosexuality and bisexuality has been around forever, no matter what race, culture, religion, nationality…there are always men and women who enjoy same-sex relations and they don’t necessarily fit the stereotype of what we think homosexual people are supposed to be. It is because of these preconceived images that have been indoctrinated into the minds of people of what is homosexuality , that some young men reject it. They don’t want to be perceived as weak amongst their community or family.  So a subculture of men is created… The down-low. The down-low only exists because of the fears and prejudice of the black community.

Women have now been put on full alert! Which is both good and bad. The previous image that they thought was the homosexual is fading.  The flamboyant gum popping queen they see on television and in church plays is only the obvious ones they are a  parody of the truth. They begin to realize that any strong black male, father, pastor, brother, teacher, football player, model, rapper, doctor, lawyer can and might be gay or bisexual. The bad side is that their fear makes them draw within like crabs in a shell with their pinchers out.  If the black community is going to advance further, there should be more rapport between Black men and women about sexuality. All I’m seeing currently is women gathering and talking and gay men talking about it but nothing else. The down low affects gay men and their relationships as well and most gay men do not like down low guys.

Men feel a need…

to protect their image, their pride, their sense of masculinity. Women feel a need to protect their hearts, their lives, their health, and their families (and they should! condoms are fundamental)  But currently all I see is  this war of the sexes being created.  I see black men going further in the closet and I see black women congregating and creating forums about the down low and the signs of  “gayness” as if these down low men have no ears and eyes to know what you’re looking for and do the opposite. As a rule…the squeaky wheel needs the most oil. If you want to know who your down low brothers are ….it’s not the guy you dated who has a gay friend, it’s the homophobic guy you dated who screams to the rooftops he’s straight and “hates fags”.  The down low is fed off fear and self-hatred…why would he have gay friends?

Perfect love casts out all fear.

Despite your personal or religious feelings about homosexuality, remember they are still and always will be men. Men…we have a lot of hangups. Black men, whoa…I used to tell my sister before I officially “came out” it’s hard enough being a black man in American without adding the gay label to the whole mix.  To my brothers, running away from labels, hiding the truth, and purposely deceiving others to only save yourself is not the answer.

“To thine own self be True”

The way to be a strong man is have courage and strength. Courage and strength is not necessarily how strong you are and who you can beat up. But I heard someone say, being strong is about how vulnerable you allow yourself to be with others.  Show people that your sexuality is apart of you but only a small part. I don’t expect the black community to become gay-friendly overnight but perhaps if they were to see how many strong black men are actually in the LGBT community perhaps they would no longer hold their head in shame because we as black men are not ashamed of ourselves, but that we love ourselves, our families and our community…And with that love comes pride.