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AALBC.com's Thumper's Corner Discussion Board » Culture, Race & Economy - Archive 2003 » The 'Low Down' on the 'Down Low' « Previous Next »

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ABM

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 11:35 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The site below references to an amazing NYT article about the phenomenon of "Down Low" Black men.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/03/magazine/03DOWNLOW.html


Black folks, we REALLY need to address this issue that is (not so) secretly going on within our communities.
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 12:37 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

I couldn't get in the site and I don't want to sign up but I have heard about this phenomenon (and am amazed that those reporting on it can come up with numbers and percentages of brothers engaged when the whole aim of their game is to be anonymous).

Why do WE need to address this issue? I ain't doing it (though I must admit if I was I wouldn't admit it)the women definitely ain't doing it since it is a male phenomenon--

Ain't this something the Brothers on the Down Low ought to address?
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ABM

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 01:42 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris,

Whether a brothah is 'into' women, men, both, farm animals...Hell!...rotting corpses...is not my concern, provided he's not breaking any laws and does so in privacy. But it has been suggested by many apparently credible sources that these Down Low (DL) brothahs are in large part the source of increasing HIV/AIDS infection throughout the Black community. It not that one is or is not gay that is at issue. It's whether one demonstrates some integrity and responsibility with their behavior, especially when their choices may negatively affect innocent/unknowing women/children. That, WE ALL should be concerned about.

I believe gay/lesbian people should be wholly loved/accepted by all Black people. But I find it detestable that men can secretly partake in reckless sexual behavior with other equally irresponsible men, often without even using condoms, then casually engage in intercourse with unsuspecting women (many of whom are their wives for Christ Sake). Those brothahs should be OUTTED.

If you care to bury your head-in-the-sand on this issue, that's your business. But note much of the reason the AIDS' scourge continues to wreck havoc among us AA's is that many of us have for too long thought as you about this subject, that "I ain't doing it.", so "Why do [I] need to address this issue?". I'm sure there are 1,000's of AA wives, girlfriends and mothers who might have expressed similar disinterest in the clandestine acts of anonymous DL brothahs...prior to receiving the sobering results of their own HIV tests.

The statistics of HIV/AIDS infection among African Americans are increasingly horrific. Therefore, how this disease is being spread among us is a gravely serious public health issue whose consequence transcend many lesser proscriptions of personal choice and privacy.

For ALL of our sake, it is high-time we begin to openly and frankly discuss and negotiate the delicate issues of homosexuality within our communities. Otherwise, what we don't know about what our fellow brothahmam does on the DL may kill us all.
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 03:00 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

You came here to an African American literature site which correct me if I'm wrong, you must see as a hotbed of brothers on the downlow,(most of the posters are females) and put out this message, which I guess you assume the thousands of AA wives girlfriends and mothers who are in danger will read this and will bring this activity to a screeching halt overnight.

What was it, you was sitting up looking for something to get noid about and you saw this and said, "That's it. I got to go to Thumper's corner and wake everybody up or the Black race is doomed!"

I don't get what you are trying to accomplish. What--we're all a bunch of spring chickens and don't know about STDs and AIDs? You detected some DownLow activity on the boards?

Maybe I'm wrong. But its like we're talking about the stock market and suddenly you bust out with the brothers on the Down Low.

Lemme tell you, I ain't worried about it. I ain't going to start barging into folks bedrooms--which I assume you would have to do, or standing in folks face and asking "Is you on the Down Low?" I guess I could start doing the same thing for drug use or alchoholism, mental illness--if you are married and have sex only with your wife, how does this affect you--I could go on ad nauseum, I ain't feeling alarmed, I'm reading you and saying, "What brought this on?"



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ABM

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 04:56 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Folks,
Check out the article, judge for yourselves what you make of it and if you choose to chat about it, I'd be happy to engage you on what I find to be an important subject.


Chris,
It's about time to add some bran to your diet.
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 05:57 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

Not saying it's not a subject that someone who is engaging in this behavior ought to check himself on--I find it hard to believe it is reaching epidemic proportions.What proportion of brothers do you think are on the DL? 80%? 90%? And how would you really know since they do it on the Down Low? It just seems to me another chapter in the American Hysteria About Negro Sex Freaks that jumps up in one form or another from time to time
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Cynique

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Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 11:57 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Essence" magazine had an article about "down-low" brothers last year. I have a psycho-babble theory about this aberration. There are so many black men out there who have deep-rooted love-hate feelings for the fathers who weren't there for them that they are symbolically sticking it to these male figures who deserted them. (Well, I said it was "psycho-babble", didn't I?) All I can say further on this subject is: "what's a poor girl to do?" It's a crazy-ass world.
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ABM

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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:33 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris, thanks for partly making my point: "What proportion of brothers do you think are on the DL? 80%? 90%? And how would you really know since they do it on the Down Low?"

That's just it. WE DON'T KNOW how many Brothahs are on the DL. But we do know that there appear to be many of them participating in hi-risk, unprotected sexual activity that could negatively impact legions of innocent and unsuspecting women & children.

Let's do some math. Even if there are only 100,000 Black men (less than 1% of adult AA men) who are regularly engaged in reckless DL behavior, if those men have unprotected sex with just 10 females (which a lot of men might go thru inside of just a year) and those females have intercourse with just 5 five men, that's millions of people who can be potentially exposed to HIV. THAT's why we should consider discussing and maybe even revising how we deal with sexuality within the Black communities. To me, this isn't an issue of masculinity, religion, morality or ethos...it's about survival.

This post is not intended to be a call to us "straight" foks to start peeking in2 to the bedrooms and 'closets' of those of us with eclectic sexual appetites. I don't care if you enjoy knocking boots with a Cockerspaniel (provided you do so with prior doggy consent). But what I decry is how one's irresponsible behavior puts innocent people at risk.

Actually, I have reach a point in my life where I am ready to consider very liberal, broad acceptance of varying manifestations of sexuality. Perhaps we should let gay and lesbian people get married, adopt kids, share property, tax and health benefits to the exact same degree (Although, upon receiving full matrimonial status, I suspect MANY gay people will quickly find marriage to be as onerous as most 'straight' folks do.). My recent modifications on these issues are based on a hope that if we took away a lot of the silly and anachronistic stigma associated with homosexuality, it would be easier for us to require folks to behave responsibly. In a open society, gays/bisexuals wouldn't have to do all of the hiding and sneaking around (which is often the impetus to disaster). Maybe those of us with more conservative perspectives should seriously consider that as long as we vilify those of us whose sexuality deviate from the 'norm', the more many such people will engage in increasingly illicit and dangerous behavior that impacts us all (I feel similarly about the question of the legalization of drugs.).

It is not sex that is killing us...it's the silence.
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yukio

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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 12:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM and Others:

Although homesexuality is not accepted, and it is not the "norm" it is normal and has been around forever....i say let people love freely, honestly, and safely.....so the "down low" men are aberrations because they're not being safe, honest, free....it is both our and they're responsiblity and tolerant of difference, in my opinion.

CH:
You could write a short story or poem concerning the issue....
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 02:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio:

Them lowdown downlow brothers?
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Yukio

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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 04:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CH:
Yes, you could write how it affects those directly and indirectly involved. Regardless of individual politics, what others do effects everyone else!

"Down low" homosexuals not only effect the women and men they are involved with, but they effect their own and the others'family, friends, etc.....pain, happiness, etc...are all available....there is much tension there to develop if want sought to write about it.....

This is only a response to your point that it does not effect you and that you as a fidel husband is not effected....so as a writer you could do something if u chose....of course you don't have to, but it is a possibility!
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ABM

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Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 10:50 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio says: "Although homosexuality is not accepted, and it is not the "norm" it is normal and has been around forever....i say let people love freely, honestly, and safely..."

ABM says: I agree that what you assert is probably the direction we should all should follow (& I think that I had suggested we consider doing such.). I, however, think before we can do that, we ALL must consider many of the reasons why so many of us fear homosexuality. Sure discussion won't necessarily result in everyone changing their minds and we all - straight and gay - will fondly embrace and chant "Khum bi yah" along the center of the gay-friendly streets of San Francisco. But if we can get by some of the major (albeit erroneous) fears about homosexuality (e.g., GOD will damn you; being gay is 'contagious'; you will catch AIDS; you're not a "real man"; you're all pedophiles; etc.), we can more peaceably head into an inclusive future.

For instance: I think the reason why many men fear broad acceptance of homosexuality is that there is an element within many men - straight/gay/other - that would compel us to "steer our ship" into the eye of a raging hurricane if we thought we'd really feel good in the process. So the concern may be that open/active male homosexuality might become nearly as popular as heterosexuality (especially now when our society has become so overwrought with almost all thoughts/notions of "screwing".).

Also, if males as a whole become much less interested in appealing to the interests and desires of females (& many likely would if they no longer view females as the only sanctioned source of sexual gratification), how might this affect the overall behavior and character of men. Is it a coincidence that some of history's most warmongering cultures (e.g., Greek & Roman empires) included some degree of accepted homosexuality (Although I seem to recall reading about an alleged incident where a collective of Greek or Roman women effectively boycotted having with their husbands to stop them from war waging.).

Also, many of the traditional beliefs about what constitute masculinity stem from men's fantasies about fulfilling the wishes of women. So, again, if the desire to do that is lessened among the masses of men, logic suggest that manhood itself as we commonly believe it is to be is diminished.

And perhaps the most cumbersome issue is that of birthing and rearing children. This issue is most acute among us AA's whose very survival has always been at risk. Simply: Will more open homosexuality lead to fewer Black babies being born? Considering that many (& in some areas most) babies are the unintended products of sexual mishaps between men/women, if much of that lustful energy is re-directed from the opposite to the same sex, couldn't that result in a material net reduction in birth rates? And if so, is that what we all want?


PLEASE!!! I am just trying to dialog. Don't take the comments above to be condemnation of the gay/lesbian lifestyle. But if we going to truly going "live & let live", we might want to more fully and openly consider where we all might end up.
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Yukio

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Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 11:28 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, i think folk should have a vision and work towards it. Discussion is useful, also. These "what ifs" are only "what ifs," however. Action demonstrated through interaction with people is what needs to happen.

I think masculinity and feminity(gender roles) need to be redefined, improved, etc.....some heterosexual men are effeminate, some homosexual men are extremely masculine(not because their fronting either).....some women are agressive, domineering, etc....but are heterosexuals, etc.....the discussion has to be about recognizing truths and redefining gender roles to accomodate these truths.

I think people are naturally conservative, since their conservatism grounds them, provides an available ideology, philosophy, etc....for you to interpret life. Once folk interrupt your framework you either rebel or adjust or revolve/evolve. Religion is probably the most difficult ideology/philosophy to address b/c it is so all encompassing, covering most of life's situations....even sexuality....and so to disobey this philosophy is to disobey God...and this is something many can't do....because their religion/cosmology orders the entire life and to disobey God is to lose an awareness of how everything works, who you are, what you have to do with the world and ya purpose in it.....sorta like being unplugged from the matrix......i'm thinking out loud.....sorry!

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