Urban Legend the DL boogeyman

Oct 12, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 0 Comments

“Keep your head up, legs closed, eyes open either a nigga wear a rubber or he die smokin”-Tupac from the song “wonder why they call U”

All the good fine men are gay. I can’t count how many times I or one of my single friends have made this statement as if it were the gospel truth. I don’t think there are more gay men than straight men, but depending on where you live and play it may appear that way. Last week Oprah had a follow up show about the down low and one of the guest on the show was a woman named Bridgette B. who had contracted HIV from her husband who was living on the down low and also on the show was J.L. King the infamous “writer” of the book called On the Down Low. I remember watching the first show Oprah had on the down low in 2004 and just thinking that this was so salacious and over the top and I refuse to believe that every Black man is secretly harboring some gay “Broke Back Mountain” fantasy. Shortly, after that book came out Keith Boykin wrote an awesome book in response to the negative portrayal of gay Black men and he wrote a book called Beyond The Down Low which debunked a lot of the myths and stereotypes that were being perpetuated (I purchased Keith Boykin’s book not the horror story that JL King wrote.)

Fast forward to 2008 I went back to college and I attended an HBCU. Not a day went by that someone wasn’t questioning or outing a fraternity guy, star athlete, or thugnificent-esque type of guy. During my first year of matriculation I started adopting this crazy suspicion. I started to become so distrusting of Black men and started to assume that every Black guy was on the down low. I remember talking to my favorite ex-boyfriend he came to visit me on campus and I started interrogating him about his sexual past and if he has ever had sex with a guy. He laughed at me and said, “get a grip every Black man isn’t on the DL going to this school is making you paranoid.” Mind you this is a man that I not only dated, but who was at one point my best friend. When he told me that it made me snap out of it and realize how I was living my life in complete paranoia for no apparent reason.

I bring the story up because the media is having a field day with Black women and exploiting our fears. I enjoyed the Oprah show, but at the same time it painted Black man as animals with an insatiable sexual appetite that devours both men and women sexually like they’re tic tacs. Yes, there are Black men who choose not to disclose their sexual history and proclivities and yes the statistics for Black women who are dying from HIV/AIDS is staggering, but  our men’s sexual orientation is not the issue its our inability to make wise choices that is the problem. As Black women why is it so easy  for us to give up our power to any man who acts like he loves us or who has a serious “dick/head game.”  Lets be honest ladies most men will sleep with you unprotected if you let HIM, therefore if you already know this then why not demand he wear a condom! You see the down low is not killing women and it is unfair to blame the perpetuation of HIV/AIDS on gay or bisexual men. If more women practiced safe and healthy sexual behaviors we would not be dying so disproportionately  from this disease. We must love ourselves enough to demand more. If your single I really don’t think you have any business having unprotected sex period. It doesn’t matter if your man is cheating on you with another man or another woman if he has multiple sexual partners and doesn’t practice safe sex guess what all ya’ll in trouble. It’s your vagina keep it healthy ask to see his papers or card that says he is negative or if that is too much then simply wear a condom every time and for every sexual act. The boogeyman isn’t the down low brotha it’s our IGNORANCE!

What do you think? Do you believe in the DL boogeyman or do you think women are not demanding better for themselves? Discuss!

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