Yikes. Frank Leon Roberts carelessly writes an article in defense of Black gay men hiding their sexual status. The new word for these guys are “DL’s” because they keep their homosexuality on the down low. Roberts explains:
African American men who are on the D.L., “down-low,” have sex with men unbeknownst to their girlfriends (if they have one) and families. They don’t consider themselves gay, and they identify with hip-hop despite the music’s homophobia. They’ve been a source of controversy in the black community.
Ok, cool. Read on…
The controversy swings from seeing the D.L. brother as the primary spreader of AIDS in the “mainstream” black community to an insistence that they “come out of the closet” so they can be “out and proud.” But as the brother at the train station told me, he was out, but in a new kind of way. Moreover, he was going to get his groove on at the sex party, safely.
Pause this for a second. Coming out on the “DL” is not really coming out at all. And it’s definatley not proud.
…Behind these AIDS fears lies the heterosexist assumption that AIDS is born and bred in gay communities and then venomously spread outward. Much of the anti-D.L. rhetoric from the black media hides the painful fact that many straight black women and men are HIV-positive and spread the disease among themselves, without any help from “evil” gay black men.
“Heterosexist assumption”? Negro please. CNN reported how Black male gays, bisexuals hit hard by HIV. The article cites a study that says gay Black men are “five times more likely to become HIV-infected than their white counterparts” and the CDC’s Dr. Helene Gayle says, “Young gay and bisexual men are at the highest risk for HIV in this country.” The AIDS epidemic amongst them (and us in general) needs more light to be shed on it, not more secrecy. Roberts continues…
D.L. brothers are often no more insecure about their sexuality than anyone else. They’ve just embraced a low-key, mellow style that lets them admit to same-sex desires without necessarily coming out in the traditional sense. They “come out” as D.L.
This guy must be really grappling with the shame of his own sexuality. Why would he condone being ashamed of yourself and living a lie? Being gay in the hip-hop community is difficult and even dangerous, yes. But homo-thugs or DL’s or whatever they’re calling themselves now are not just hiding it from their girlfriends and wives (which is not fair to these women) but also their doctors. They aren’t getting the targeted health care advice and treatment as their gay, White, and proud counterparts. And this is dangerous for everyone involved.Powered by Sidelines