Last week I received an email offering an advanced copy of the book Love on a Two-Way Street by JL “I’m Not Gay, I’m Just Cashing In” King. The email titled “JL King shocked OPRAH, and the world” read:
"King continues his crusade to shed light on the down-low phenomenon with the release of his sensational new novel, 'Love on a Two-Way Street.' The novel chronicles the encounters of a music mogul who is on the down-low and his interactions with a successful woman, and powerful industry men. Hmm. Fact or Fiction?”
A music mogul on the down-low? Fact or fiction? Wow, that sounds about as visionary and original as a bad plot in a chitlin’ circuit play—instead of “Mama, I Wanna Sing!” it would be titled, “Mama, I Wanna Suck D*ck on CocoDorm.com!”
I met JL King once in early 2005, before I had this web site, at a book reading for his sequel to On the Down Low. I nicely asked why the first book didn’t talk about the emotionality of men “on the down low”, making it seem as if they solely want sex. Many closeted men I’ve met and know are extremely lonely and looking for some type of love -- they're not just hot whores.
King answered with something to the effect of, “Well, I’m happy with the book and it sold!” He also snapped at other people, who softly asked questions. Maybe he was having a bad day, but my friend next to me said, “He is really smelling himself.”
After the reading, his editor, a black gay man, pulled me to the side and said how much he appreciated my question. He also promised the new book King was promoting, Coming Up from the Down Low, was more emotional and introspective. The editor said the only way he would sign on to do the project is if the emotionality and truth of what it means to be closeted was added. I never got around to reading the second book.
One of the deepest problems about the media hype of the down low is the rant on HIV/AIDS, which are filled with incorrect statistics or no statistics at all. How does a person who is marketing being a strumpet become an expert on HIV/AIDS?
While the hyper paranoia of the “down low” is pumped up again to petrify as many black women as possible, I think it’s paramount to remember an excerpt from this 2004 article titled “CDC researcher debunks statistical basis of reporting on black bisexual or 'down low' men spreading HIV”:
Dr. Linda Valleroy, a top CDC official, has completed analysis of her Young Men’s Survey of sexual behavior and is disputing reports in the press about the link between that data and the down low phenomenon.
In 2003, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times published stories saying that men on the down low—or African American men who have sex with both men and women, but do not identify as gay or bisexual—are making a significant contribution to the spread of HIV among African-Americans.
Each story cited data from the Young Men’s Survey (YMS), a multi-year study by Dr. Linda A. Valleroy, that investigated the sexual behavior of 3,492 15- 22-year-olds in seven U.S, cities between 1994 and 1998 and 2,949 23- to 29-year-olds in six U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000. Her study was not an investigation of men on the down low.
“YMS was not a ‘down low sample of young men,’ YMS was not a ‘bisexual sample of young men,’“ she wrote. “YMS was a sample of young men who had ever had sex with men who went to venues where young men who had sex with men were likely to go. The reason that ‘down low’ appears in the press release from CDC is that CDC was afraid that the press would get the wrong idea: the wrong idea being that YMS studied down low or bisexual guys, solely or particularly.”
As one of my favorite readers, alizoom, said last week, "If black women would let go of their own homophobia as well as their incredibly fucked-up sense-of-self, **** and King wouldn't make much money, and neither would 'hard-core gangsta rappers', as we'd take a jaundiced-eyed view and steer clear of any group of men who only want to exploit our insecurities and fears in order to fill their bank accounts."
Yes Lawd, I'se goin' home on the mornin' train... !
Posted by Clay ::
12:30 AM ::