An Undercover Brother

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(Black Star Columnist Ms. Curtis, right, says honesty is the best ingredient in relationships)

If we didn’t learn anything from author Terry McMillan’s recent real life drama unfolding, we learned that sometimes even the best of us can be fooled. Deceit is not contingent upon ethnicity, income, or education. We’ve all been there. Now, before we go any further, I’d like to preface this by saying, I am in no way a homophobic.  Call me crazy, but I’m just addicted to the truth, ‘cause it never changes.

As if dating in the 21st century is not difficult and challenging enough, now women across the country have to be concerned with some brothers' sexual preference and orientation, in addition to the other normal woes of dating someone new. You’ve all read about it, or seen it on any of your daily talk shows—it’s the “DL� form of lifestyle. It is spreading quicker than wildfire, and seems to be as popular as a pair of Jordan sneakers. For those of you who have been living under a rock, “DL� stands for “down low,� and my how appropriate a description for this choice of living. It’s “down low� because nobody knows, but the two brothers intimately involved. To everyone else, the men appear to be leading a heterosexual lifestyle.

Here is where it gets sticky, Black men, don’t like the stigma attached to the word “homosexual,â€? so the ones who are creeping around, sleeping with other men, don’t consider themselves gay—just men, sleeping with men.  According to these brothers, they just like to “dabbleâ€? every now and again. Hey, I’m from the belief that as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you have a right to choose your lifestyle, but what about us as women? How much, if any, do we have a right to know?

According to the latest water cooler conversation, it’s a toss-up and some seem to think these men have a right to their privacy, but at what expense to the sisters who don’t have a clue? This is much bigger than protecting a man’s ego, and could be a matter of life or death.  These double-dipping brothers have the best of both worlds. They are being pleased and pleasured in every sense of the word. I, myself, would like to know if my man, potential, or otherwise, is creeping with another brother. For many years we dismissed this as a white thing, but I’m here to tell you it has crossed the color line and our men have jumped on the bandwagon, both feet first.

I’m not naïve to think these are new occurrences. I believe Black men have been living on the “DL� for years, but just like everything else, there is a time and a season when the truth must be revealed. I often ask myself if I would be more upset if my mate were cheating with a man as opposed to a woman. The reality is it wouldn’t matter, because either way, it renders the same feelings of hurt and rejection.

In this day and age, there are so many more facets to dating. We must be very alert and aware of what is going on in our relationships. Dating can still be fun; however, protect yourself and always trust your instincts.
If it barks like a dog and acts like a dog—nine times out of 10, it’s a dog!

Note to self:  Life is about choices, be comfortable enough with yours to be honest.

©2006. Columnist LaVerne is currently working as a Senior Editor and Freelance Columnist, with nationally published works to include “Love…According to L,� a monthly AOL Black Voices column; and “L’s Motivational Minute,� a monthly motivational women’s column for Soul Sistas She has also interviewed celebrity personalities and written for Upscale You can e-mail her at: with your comments.

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