The Invisible man: moving the conversation about the “down low” further.

Apr 13, 2011 @ 11:18 am | By TheFeministGriote | 1 Comment

If you have not figured it out yet I put the ‘A’ in LGBTQIA(lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, & ally). I have written and will continue to write blog posts that seek to debunk negative myths about gays and lesbians and that seek to affirm their existence and identity in a positive manner. I do not subscribe to heterosexual privilege. I am pro-love . I also believe that there is more to sexuality than straight or gay. Bi-sexuals are not an urban legend!

Last week I posted a blog about  heterosexual privilege as it related to the Black community especially among hip-hop culture in reference to DJ Mister Cee being caught buying sex from a transvestite prostitute. Statistics show that Black and Latina women are being plagued by HIV/AIDS at an alarming rate.  According to the CDC.gov Blacks make up on 12% of the population, but  46% are infected. Among the Hispanic population which makes up 15% of the population 17% are infected with the disease. It is very clear that in the  Black and brown community men and women lack the tools to communicate honestly about sex and its various consequences. With these types of statistics staring us down it makes no sense to me why so many women and men in the Black community keep focusing on the “down low” issue.

The incident with DJ Mister Cee has once again refueled the conversation surrounding men on the  ”down low.” I for one am very disturbed at the fact that the down low man appears to be synonymous with Black men. Whenever a prominent man within the Black community is caught in a precarious situation where his sexuality is in question suddenly all gay and bi-sexual men are labeled sexual terrorist who are single handily trying to wipe out Black women. My question to every straight woman especially Black women is this, we say we don’t want to be lied to by our men especially in regards to their sexuality, but as women have we made the conscious effort to create a safe space for our men to confide in us?

How can we as Black women ever expect men not to lie to us when we refuse to foster and nurture safe loving spaces for our men to level with us? You are not the only person within the equation who deserves compassion and a shoulder to lean on. What incentive do we give our men to keep it real with us? I do not condone one lying to his/her mate nor do I condone cheating. If two people have agreed upon and not assumed they’re to be monogamous, then both parties involved need to keep their word and not cheat. With this in mind, I also know that if I want an honest relationship where secrets do not flourish, I must make the conscious effort to cultivate an environment where my mate feels free to expose himself, be vulnerable, and above all truthful.

Ladies how long are we going to continue to point the finger at these men before we face the fact that we share in the problem and in the solution? Just like the staggering HIV/AIDS statistics shows that we women are complicit and willing participants in our own demise. Maybe I am an idealist, but I don’t believe that men who lie to their wives and girlfriends about their sexuality are at the core malicious in their intent. I wholeheartedly believe that these men are simply victims of a society that we are all responsible for creating that pushes them into a life of duplicity.  These men feel that it is better to live in the crevices of the closet rather than to enjoy the sunshine and freedom as an out gay man.

In a society where some circles equate homosexuality with pedophilia it is a wonder to me that we even have so many out and proud positive gay male role models. As long as masculinity and greatness continue to be qualifiers for only straight men we will always continue to push men who are questioning or struggling with their sexuality deeper into the black hole of invisibility. I am striving to be the type of woman whose man will never feel the need to hide his true self from. What type of woman are you?

Now that you know what I think, what do you think?

Speak your peace…

One Response to “ The Invisible man: moving the conversation about the “down low” further. ”

  1. Horldring Velcy | April 13, 2011 9:33 pm

    It sounds like you are making excuses for the down low men. I don’t think that we should factor ourselves in the equation at all. What if it so happens that you do all that you can to make your man comfortable and he still does not feel comfortable admmitiing to you that he has other preferences? will you still blame yourself or will you dismiss him as being weak? I understand that society does not make it easy for them to be themselves or to explore their sexuality, but you make it sound as if the problem lies with us, the women who nurture these men.Moreover, we all have or have a had a hard time showcasing our real personalities. if what you are advocating was the actual truth, then waht about the rest of us who are having identity problems? Do you not see how that raises a parrallel to your previous blog about Heterosexual priviliges? my humble opinion is that we all have our own demons to battle, and though we should expect acceptance from others, we should not hold them responsible for our craven attitude. what about all the other ones who were brave enough to be themselves?
    What i figure is that the ones who choose to remain on the down low are ashamed of themselves. like the brother you have in the above picture. do you remember how defensive he got when Janet accused him of being gay? he refused to be called that. he said that he was just a brother who enjoyed having sex with another man. he went on to say that he was not gay because she would not see him acting all affectionate publicly with a man. now what did Janet’s character do to make him think that he could not come to her to discuss this aspect of his life? so, you see, the problem lies in them. they see themselves as macho men and refuse to believe that they could be anything but. now who plant the idea that they can not be both is a complex question.

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