Brokeback article …read this and comment please…

7 Comments on An interesting article

  1. LaDawn says:

    I think this is just another example of homophobia in the black community. Black women probably don't care about who white men are sleeping with because we aren't sleeping with white men (I think of interracial dating, black women do it the least, hispanic women, the most). We have no other place to project the rage other than on our sexual partners who are overwhelmingly black men. Granted it isn't fair to charactarize prison sex as down low, but the result is still the same, men sleeping with men. I understand your point about personal responsibility on the part of black women (for engaging in unprotected sex) but what about the responsibility of the brother to disclose risky behavioror if he doesn't want to disclose exactly what he has done and who he did it with, to wrap up for his protection and htat of his partner. It's a two way street.

  2. linnea says:

    the whole point is the two way street. right now we are talking a one way 100mph street rolling over anyone with a brown penis. my concern is that blame is not a helpful tool in this case. i believe in disclosure…and if everyone involved was laying out their entire sexual history i might be more inclined to let it slide…but my guess is most PEOPLE are not so forthcoming…"let's see, i slept with the basketball team in '86 and those football players in '92, oh yeah…and i got lucky because we weren't safe but i didn't get pregnant…or an HIV test." responsiblity falls on both sides…that is my point. we have to take some of that too. we also have to be fair – homosexual sex is by no means the only way to get infection (if you look at stats, homosexual infection rates had been dropping steadily while heterosexual rates of infection have been steadily climbing for years).

  3. Fishbone says:

    Personally, I don't know anyone who is on the down-low (er go the term…LOL), but being an actor, I do know a lot of homosexual black men here in Houston…funny thing about that is they (the ones I've spoken to) are just as traumatized about the whole down-low situation as most black women are. All of the gay men that I know are openly gay…and prefer to date only other openly gay men as their own measure of protection (if you would) in this situation. The one thing I took most from reading that (well put together) article is more about racism…than anything else…but like that's some big secret. I remember feeling a tad bit homophobic while I was in college (HELLO, I WAS IN ATL) and, interestingly enough, it took reading Invisible Life (which my girlfriend at the time DEMANDED I read) to break me from that and begin to look at people for who they are instead of by what they do.

  4. T.Marie says:

    No one discloses their entire sexual history. Agreeing to take the basic tests saves you the embarrasment of having to do so. But this doesn't seem to be about sexual history, as much as fidelity. Cheating w/ a man or woman is wrong. And we're not talking a one-night stand. These are ongoing relationships on the side. Sure, it would hurt more if it were with a man. For some, it would hurt more if it were a white woman. But it's the inital lack of honesty that really hurts. When race plays a part, it changes the perception of the issue for all involved. The same can be said for a majority white media writing about communitites they don't live in and know little about. And when our black publications write surface stories without pushing back at the mainstream media's depiction, we miss an opportunity. I write for one of those mainstream white publications. There are so many days I miss writing for my college paper, where I could write about black life that has nothing do with crime. Mind you, I'm a criminal justice reporter. đŸ™‚

  5. kris k says:

    An interesting article.

    I agree at some level with La Dawn that the whole phenomenon about the low down is in fact, at least partially, a result of homophobia in the black community. Widespread acknowledgement of this fact, I feel (didn’t you tell me this?), is the reason health workers have increasingly used the phrase “men sleeping with men” rather than the term gay. The logic is sound: treat the problem, the spread of diseases, etc. Unfortunately, like so many other singular programs, it re-produces other problems (ex. Implicitly racist efforts to fight for affirmative action or against Proposition 187 in California, come to mind.) In this case, it perpetuates homophobia through the fear of dealing with it directly.

    As a sociologist, I look at things with a different lens. Sure, personal accountability is important, but as has been said… people of all colors, genders and sexualities are unfaithful and cheat… the question is why is it dealt with and discussed differently in black and white *communities*. We can tell everybody to be responsible and ethical, but why is this call aimed at particular groups differently.

    Perhaps the “men having sex with men” approach is better. As you know the spectrum of sexuality is broad and the Foucault lover in me cannot accept that the totalizing label of “gay” is unproblematic. Nonetheless, the political power of the gay community is the result of people coming out of the closet and embracing this singular identity and embracing it publicly, whether or not it is true (This is also true of multiracial communities who choose to identify with one race only).

    Let’s assume that this is largely a white male gay movement historically and that the gay community (overall) is similar…. Perhaps gay black men do not feel comfortable with levels of racism in that movement (which also brings up a gender question… where is the discussion of “lesbian betrayal” whether black or white?) or suppressing “racial” questions for the good of the movement. It also seems reasonable to assume that coming out of the closet has more dire consequences for black men in terms of black community reception as well as negotiating life with an additional stigma. Not fully accepted in gay communities or black communities… it seems all too logical to stay in the closet… and if caught… (as happens to all genders, races and sexualities) to claim it is not totalizing, but just the occasional thing… on the down low (whether true or not). [By the way, I think the prison thing is off base… and implicitly racist… even though incarceration rates are higher, the majority of people in prison are still white.

    Then we have the corporate media. Beholden to advertisers in a race to the bland, the media is often looking for stories that will not hurt them in the pocketbook… This reproduces a process of beating up on communities with less political power and money. The public at large then shuns (and misunderstands) those same communities more and more.

    Ultimately, what is highlighted by this article is that powerful perceptions about race, gender and sexuality as glimpsed through a conservative corporate media reproduce racism, sexism and homophobia….

    As a sociologist, all I can say is… I’m shocked. (Dripping with sarcasm.)

  6. AJ says:

    in this discussion there are a few HOT points here:

    1) Down-Low (confused homosexual black men)
    2) HIV/AIDS
    3) Hollywood's racist ways
    4) Openly homosexual black men
    5) My personal take on it

    1) Down-Low (confused homosexual brothers)

    Down-low is a term to describe black men activities outside their hetro-sexual relationships with their wives or long tem female partners. but the bad thing about this is that we are to blame for this tag because it just screams, BALCK FOLK. but in all actuality we are not to blame for its spread. Media has grabbed this thing and ran with it and we are to blame for not stopping this tag. “DL’s” ARE confused brothers who refuse to accept the simple fact hat they ARE homosexual or at the least bi-sexual. Because they are sleeping with both their heterosexual partner and their “DL” hook up homosexual partner. This new trend is serious hurting real heterosexual brothers who long for strong (and sane, that’s a whole nother story) black sisters. but the reason for this discussion is that we as a people are not the only one’s suffering from this disturbing trend, hence the reason for the discussion BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.


    This is a very sore point for me (ty knows) my oldest sister passed away (easter) 2000 from a decade long battle with HIV/AIDS. She was diagnosed in 1990 that she was positive with the “alphabet killer”. She could have contracted from her drug-addicted, sexually promiscuous ways, and blood transfused self. There is none way pinpointed because those were the ways people could catch HIV/AIDS. Now we as a people have a new threat the “DL” brah, but there are some “DL” sisters as well and it just kills me to hear the brahs get bashed on this. But there are many ways the stats that were stated can be skewed to his article, being a marketing person myself; I know first hand how stats can be manipulated to favor a view. But in this case I will give him a benefit o doubt that he was giving honest numbers to shed light on a very bad scenario that is going on in the black community. Out people are dying from not being honest with each other, and not protecting and loving each other. Because the only way to stop this is to love each other by protecting ourselves by the devices that is out to assist with that. Also we can protect ourselves by opening ourselves to being honest with our partners. Stop being “scurred”!!!

    Hollywood’s racist ways

    Hollywood nominations for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (BBM) just make this whole thing a mess because the man is right. If BBM was about 2 black cowboys, It would have been canned, and dogged by critics and called a waste of celluloid. It hurts my heart to agree but he is right. This is something that we as a people, especially in Hollywood, are still dealing with even after MLK, Sidney, Denzel, Halle, Morgan Freeman, and Jaime Foxx. We are almost there but we are still so far away from getting the similar respect to the same stories that whites get away with in Hollywood. If we did the same thing it would be “trash” but if whites did it first (or even re-did our original work) they would be considered “geniuses”!!! GO FIGA!!!

    Openly homosexual black men

    Had a pair my last semester at CAU (I will explain later). But they were very vulgar and dirty (far from what I thought of as stereotypical). But my roommate (suitemate) was also a fellow business school senior who was very homophobic and hated them. Me on the other hand I was just upset that they kept their part of the suite nasty as all get out and had vulgar friends over. But my experiences besides that one with gay black men has been very positive. They see the world in a whole nother view, because they are out to make goals happen. Where we sometimes, as heterosexual black men, wanna stand strong without the help from a spouse/female partner. We, as black men, are scared that if our girl outshines us that we are weak. CONTINUED—->>>

  7. AJ says:

    Man, I personally think team goals, and team goals only!!! But the gay black men have learned how to protect themselves and be honest and open with themselves and partners, and they too are concerned about this new “DL” epidemic/crisis/trend.

    My personal thoughts on it

    If we decide to be open, honest, protect, and love our partners as heterosexual black men. Some things will not happen. But that will be in a perfect world. And the last time I checked. This world we live in, it is soooooo FAR from that. So until that happen this “DL” will not go away from a very long time!

    -AJ aka Arthur L. Johnson, Jr.

Leave a Reply