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“The only time someone is scared of a dog is when they plan on getting close enough to bite.” That was one of the last lines of the previous Gay vs. Straight article. Hopefully you have had enough time to actually think about it since you read it. If so, then you should get the idea that I was talking about people who are on the DL or “the down-low.” The last Gay vs. Straight article was talking about how homophobic people usually have very irrational fears and hatred towards homosexuals. Maybe these same people might be worried about being around homosexuals or lesbians because it may bring out the desires they have been hiding all along.

Being on the DL is nothing new to the world. It may be shocking to find out that the guy who you look at as the major player or the tough guy, is on the down low. But it is no secret that there are many men and women who are in the closet. The main question is why are these people in the closet? It seems like acceptance for the LBGT community is at the highest point it has ever been; so why do most people, mainly African American men, choose to remain on the down low? Maybe it’s because of how they were raised. Maybe it’s because black men want to be seen as ultra-masculine and they feel that coming out would cause their family and frineds to think otherwise. I have heard of many cases where men who have the “tough guy” or “player” type reputations, were the main ones who participated in private homosexual acts. In most cases, it’s simply just false rumors and gossip. Other times, it’s someone who participated in the act with said homophobe, who “let the cat of the bag.” Hell, there have even been times where openly gay people accuse straight men of coming on to them and solicit a pack where they promise to condone the act as long as it’s kept quiet. If it came down to one openly gay person saying this, it could be writtten of as a possible lie, but usually it’s more than one person telling the same story. When you put two and two together, most of the time there’s some turth hidden in the accusation. Maybe that is why these same people seem tend not to have a serious problem with gays and lesbians until they realize that one of them is in their midst. Maybe they are guilty of hiding in the closet and fear being “outed” by them.

Is it really a coincidence that most men accused of being on the DL spent some time in prison. Although not every man who goes to prison performs homosexual acts, some of them do. Some of them even incorporate that lifestyle into their everyday life, once released from prison. The reason they remain in the closet once they are back on the streets is because they want to maintain the persona of being straight; not to risk damaging their life in the real world.

Since when being outed and remaining on the DL the only two choices for living an alternative lifestyle? Why can’t men and women just simply walk out of the closet instead of being pushed out? There are even celebrities who are in the closet and choose not to come out. Instead, they live their lives through escorts and messeurs. Some even maintain the appearace of a straigh life with “a paid wife for the gay guy,” all the while, they frequent undisclosed parties where men of the same caliber and sex frequent for a good timne. That is somewhat shocking to me since Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris are two megastars who managed to come out as openly gay people, while keeping their careers. The ironic part of this is that even though he is openly gay, Neil Patrick Harris usually gets casted as a womanizer. Then again, those celebrities are white and the white population is more acceptance and tolerant of their people being gay. On-the-other-hand, Black people do not. Instead we rather mask who we are and pretend that we’re someone else, while lerking in the dark with people of the same sex. I commend Frank Ocean for having the balls to come out. When you think of it, he has mores balls than any straigh guy I know. You gotta have some big kahoonas to be a ma, a rapper, black and come out just before the release of your first album. Now that’s ballsie.

No matter how much support the LBGT community gets, there will always be people who are not comfortable with who they are and choose to stay in the closet. It could be the teenager who want’s to wait until he/she goes away to a college to be themselves. It could be a single woman who is bisexual, but not many people know about it. Sometimes it might not be a case of someone being innocent and just waiting for the right moment to come out. It could be a man who frequently cheats on his wife with men, risking hearbreak, and diseases to his wife, because he doesn’t wrap it up. Living a double life has to be hard. But we all have choices and those who chose to remain in the closet are cowards. Maybe one day, society will become more tolerant and accepting towards the gay community and people won’t have to spend their lives hiding in a miserable shell. I’m just saying…

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Copyright 2012 USL Magazine