An Open Letter to Black Same Gender Loving Men by David Malebranche

My heart is heavy.  My soul longs for relief.  Yesterday my dear friend, mentee and little brother, Warner McGee, transitioned after being taken off life support by his mother due to a protracted illness.  The details of exactly which illness robbed him of his future at this point is irrelevant – the painful reality we face is that yet another talented, intelligent brother has left this earth way too soon, leaving many of us scratching our heads in disbelief.  What happened?  Why him?  What more could I have done to prevent this tragedy from transpiring?  These questions hauntingly reverberate in my head like a vise, slowly squeezing it until I feel like it will explode.

 

Warner was young, gifted and black.  He overcame many early life adversities to graduate from Morehouse College with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in public health.  He later went on to get his doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.  He was brilliant, hardworking and passionate about promoting the general, mental and sexual health of Black men.  He was a good friend and a bright spirit.  He was a little brother to me. And his story, sadly, is not unfamiliar to us.  In recent times, the story of a talented Black same gender loving man being “suddenly” struck down in their prime has become somewhat of a yearly ritual.  Word travels through telephone, email and social media.  Everyone is shocked, saddened and surprised.  And over time, as the details around the death of our brother unravel, we discover that his passing was not so “sudden” after all.  There was an underlying medical, mental, spiritual and/or psychological issue at the root of his journey.  And for some reason, until it was too late, no one knew about it but him.

 

For many of us navigating through this world as Black same gender loving men, it is not easy.  We have to worry about the inherent racism in general society that pegs us as ubiquitous threats and outsiders, regardless of what we wear or what level of education we have attained.  Simultaneously, we are seen as the purveyors of moral depravity in the larger Black community despite our historic and present contributions to our collective advancement.  We are seen as the hedonistic pedophiles who do nothing but dream of imaginative ways to corrupt youth; the outcasts who have turned our backs on anything spiritual simply because we respect and acknowledge our natural romantic desires; and of course, we are pegged as the main reason why Black women get HIV at higher rates than women of other races and ethnicities.  With all this placed on top of our backs every day in addition to our routine daily struggles, we foolishly spend the majority of our time trying to prove ourselves to our non-Black and/or heterosexual contemporaries.  We want them to view us as trustworthy so passionately that we overcompensate with extraordinary creative and work achievements, acquire prestigious work titles and accumulate as many letters behind our names that a business card can possibly handle.

 

But in the process of responding to this intersectional oppression from being both Black and same gender loving in a society that does not care to feature either social identity, we lose something. We lose ourselves.  We stop caring about our needs and instead choose to prioritize the safety and health of others.  Over the past decade I have personally witnessed and heard of numerous Black same gender loving men who serve as healers and saviors in our community yet suffer in silence with their own health issues until succumbing to an untimely death.  It is unnecessary and I don’t think I can receive another phone call, email, or post on Facebook announcing the death of another Black same gender loving man.  I can’t go to another funeral and hear another eulogy that coats over the rich multifaceted nature of our lives to simply relegate them to “He was a good Christian and loved Jesus.”  I just can’t.

 

And I am not just referring to HIV, though I’m sure that is the health issue to cross most peoples’ minds when they think of Black same gender loving men.  Contrary to popular belief, we also have to deal with mental health issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and the myriad other maladies that afflict Black men.  For some reason, those of us who are the healers in our families, relationships and communities, when afflicted with an illness ourselves, choose to not follow the advice we give so many on a daily basis.  We deny the condition exists, fight tooth and nail to avoid medical care and refuse to embrace any homeopathic or medicinal remedies that can facilitate a healthy life.  Instead, put quite simply and bluntly, we choose death.

 

I am not saying that if we are dealing with a specific medical issue, we have to become the spokesperson for that topic.  This is not everyone’s calling.  In the midst of saving the world and trying to prove our worth to societies that may never fully embrace us, however, we must at least acknowledge our mortality.  We cannot always be the Supermen we think we are or so desperately want others to believe.  So if you find out you are HIV-positive, you certainly do not have to scream from the rooftops your revelation or become the poster child for HIV treatment or advocacy.  But tell some close friends and family that you trust, be conscientious about following up with medical providers, and take care of your body with whatever therapeutic options are available.  The same principle applies if we get diagnosed with high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, depression, or any other medical condition.  It is no different. When people know exactly what you are dealing with day to day, things that happen will not be such a “surprise,” but something that makes sense and may facilitate quicker action to remedy the situation.

 

So why choose a slow protracted death?  Can we blame White Supremacy and society’s relentless attack on black male bodies and psyches?  Do we point the finger at the pervasive sexual prejudice against anyone not engaging in a “heteronormative lifestyle”?  Is it our churches’ fault for trying to brainwash us from a young age that we are damaged goods, or should our biological families assume more responsibility for more easily accepting a heterosexual sibling’s chosen drug problem over our natural romantic inclinations?  Is the CDC at fault for ignoring us for years until they couldn’t sweep the statistics under the rug any longer?  Or is it our own fault for not taking the time to check on each other when we know that something is wrong?  The truth, undoubtedly, is that the intersection of all these factors may contribute to this choice.

 

Part of the reason why we allow this benign neglect to consume us to the grave, however, is that after years of hearing what we aren’t worth from various sources in our lives, we actually start believing that our lives are expendable – despite ample evidence to the contrary.  We are the ones who serve as the rocks of the family.  We are the loving dependable uncles to our precious nieces and nephews.  We are the sons who pay attention and devote the most time to our aging parents, while our heterosexual siblings complain about being too “busy” with their marriage and kids – as if our lives are devoid of any commitments, responsibilities or obligations outside of ourselves.  We are the educators, the lawyers, the public servants, the health care employees, the customer service personnel, the ministers and ministers of music who selflessly devote our lives to our communities every day, while all the while listening to the whispers of disapproval of our born sexuality penetrate the tender flesh of our backs like so many steely knives.  After a while, despite these facts, we still believe we are unworthy of love and life.

 

The solution to this dynamic is clear – we need to be there for each other and stop waiting for a church, the CDC, our local congressperson, or President Obama himself to save us.  It is often said that as Black same gender loving men, we get to choose our non-biological families, especially when we encounter challenges with our biological families.  If that is the case, we must realize that as with any family, things will not always be perfect.  We cherish the moments where we can travel together, go clubbing, or to house parties together, and provide unwavering support to each other through school, work, and relationship difficulties. And there may be times when we may betray each other, say mean spirited things we don’t really mean, and even get on each other’s nerves and have knockdown, drag out arguments for the ages.  But this is the case with every family, biologic and non-biologic.  So since we have chosen each other, we must honor ourselves and our chosen family through thick and thin, through good times and bad times, through sickness and health.  And yes, ‘til death do us part.

 

So wherever you are, whatever you are doing in the course of your busy day that may involve interacting with another Black same gender loving man, look into his eyes and gaze into his soul.  See yourself in him. Whether he is a friend, lover or family member – look through the perfectly faded hair, the letters behind his name, the designer clothes, the impeccable payment record of his rent or mortgage or whatever kind of car from which he emerges to greet you.  Look past any troubles he has paying bills, quirks in personality or annoying habits.  Look through him and simply take a moment to ask him if he is ok.  And if he gives you a dismissive answer like “I’m fine,” ask him again, and with the side-eye you usually reserve for giving shade, let him you know are serious.  Then stand back and be prepared for a more elaborate and real answer than you could have ever anticipated.  And when you are finished listening to him, wrap him in your arms and tell him that you love him.  It may be the last time you get the opportunity to do so, and it may be one of the few times he will hear those three words and know that it is coming from someone who truly understands him.  And maybe, just maybe, he will come to realize that he has another choice.

Pastor Darwin Randolph

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Another one of the DL Holy Rolling Preachers got caught cheating on his wife and coming to the ATL, and possibly other cities, to get his “LIFE”!!! From the various pictures, i’m sure he did!

You can get the full details by clicking here . I will admit I never heard of the term “Pineapple Juice Drinker” until I read this article. LOL

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I will admit he is sexy though! 🙂

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Kaldrick and Tariq – LA Complex

I don’t watch much scripted TV, but for the last few months, i’ve been hooked to a Canadian show called L.A. Complex. Overall, the show is ok but the gay storyline between Kal (Andra Fuller) and Tariq (Benjamin Watson) is the meat of the show. Not only was a gay storyline but a storyline with believable gay black men!

Season 2 has been about Kal’s journey accepting the fact he is gay. I must say the writing for his storyline has been on point. And mad kudos to the writers for possibly writing the best ending (i hope not) for Kal’s as he addressed his fans.

If you haven’t seen the show, I suggest you go to youtube and type “Kal and Tariq” and look at all their clips. Andra Fuller’s role as Kaldrick King is just exceptional. He should be winning awards!

Here is the the final two episodes for this seasons just featuring the scenes with Kal. The last 5 min of the 20 min video are the most powerful.

Top 15 Reasons That You’re Still a Single Masculine Gay/Bisexual Man

I saw this article on another site called Discreet City. about why lots of Gay/Bisexual men are single! I thought his analysis was pretty spot on.

You can read the full article along with comments by clicking here!

I would like to know your thoughts on it!
This is the main killer of all potential relationships and even basic platonic friendships of many Gay men. You only need to briefly scour the many profiles on Gay dating sites to discover the laundry list of requirements Gay men place on one another. The most disturbing part about this is that MOST times the men are demanding prerequisites in others that they themselves do not even meet. Guys seem to all want this perfect fantasy “Superman” that they’ve created in their minds to “save” them, that more likely than not doesn’t even exist. No one is perfect, not even yourself.
Many gay men will agree: Chatlines are for Hookups. Dating sites are for Hookups. Cell Phone Apps are for Hookups. Clubs are for Hookups. The large percentage of men you meet through the aforementioned methods will most likely just be looking for quick no-strings-attached sex. That’s not to say that hookup sex never leads to relationships, but the chances for it are low. Check out our 10 Level Guide to Meeting Masculine Men to find out alternative ways to meet men for more than just sex.

Look into the mirror and honestly ask yourself if you are worth the effort. You say Yes? Now look at your cell phone…is it ringing off the hook with potential dates? No? You have your REAL answer…All jokes aside, no one is attractive to ALL men. We all have different tastes and preferences and something as simple as a poorly chosen tattoo around a belly button can soften even the hardest penis of a masculine Gay/Bisexual man. Focus on depending on more than your appearance and you’ll find that more quality men will emerge.

See the remaining 15 Reasons That You’re Still a Single Masculine Gay/Bisexual Man, In Just One Click.

No one likes fruit and vegetables that aren’t ripe yet. No one likes undercooked food. Many Gay men see anyone 25 and younger as disasters waiting to happen, with good reason. At that age they are like horny puppies humping the first legs they see. It eventually passes with time, but not before they’re potentially all used up. Alternatively, “Desirable Gay” seems to have an expiration date. After 27 years old, you’re like an old loaf of bread: your edges start to harden until you are 40 and you’re ready to just be thrown into the trash. This is how many Gays view older men. I say all this to say, there is an ageist attitude amongst Gay/Bisexual men that goes both ways (pun intended). This reason has no solution. It all comes down to what your intentions are for the potential relationship and how thick your skin is for potential rejection.
Gay men are obsessive about “sexiness” and the beauty of the male physique. This is a fact of life that has been around since the days of homosexuality amongst the Romans. It will not change. So it may be time to become more like the “Statue of David” and less like the “Statue of Buddha”. Don’t get me wrong. If weight is a constant struggle, don’t risk your health by utilizing crazy diets and unsafe juice-fasting techniques. Also, I know there are men out there that are really into “thick” guys. However, they are often few and far between. Ironically, even many chubby guys that don’t mind dating other men with a few extra pounds often get REJECTED because they are not “sexy” with six-pack abs and muscles. Once again, you have men desiring what they themselves are not even offering in return (see Reason #1).
Believe it or not, you can actually be TOO in-shape. Admittedly, I’m not into muscle guys. True, some of these men can be nice to look at and/or have a one night stand with…but that doesn’t mean I would want to date them. Many guys such as myself are not interested in being with these overly muscular guys who drink protein shakes at the club…Okay, that was an exaggeration but not by much. Also, I’ve talked to many guys that feel intimidated by men all ripped and cut up. They say it makes them feel insecure to take off their own clothes eventually when it comes to intimacy. Lastly, many muscular men that I’ve known tend to put their standard for fitness on the other men they meet, causing a lot of disappointment. There’s a reason that you can’t find another masculine Gay/Bisexual man who has also been going to the gym 6 days a week for the last 10 years. They’re rare.
Everyone knows that all the best Gay/Bisexual men to date are ALWAYS in the city that you are NOT currently living in…Keep moving until you find the man for you. Seriously though, even in heavily Gay populated cities like New York and Atlanta, weeding through and finding a decent match can be near impossible. Also, from what I’ve heard, long distance relationships where the two men START OFF in different cities/states never last. So what’s the solution? Employ the stopgap methods of porn, masturbation, hookups and the companionship of platonic friends until your Mr. Right “Promoves” into your city.

Gay men need to be wined and dined. Watching movies on your laptop at your apartment with your two or three roommates because you do not have money and/or a car is not what a Gay man considers a great date. Once again, I’m exaggerating but not by much…we’re speaking about a culture of men who place looks and material possessions over personality and intelligence. This is partly understandable as many men want to at least date someone that can pay their bills and be able to afford a trip out of town occasionally. The only advice here is to “get your financial weight up.” If not only to widen your dating options but to also better yourself and your situation in the process.

This one boggles my mind. So many men who WANT relationships have told me that they‘re not looking. The old adage, “you’ll find a match once you stop looking for one” is holding you back. Nothing ever gets sold if you don’t advertise that it is for sale. You have to be proactive in your search much like you would in looking for employment. No one ever says, “you’ll find a job once you stop looking for one.” On the flip side to this, some men you meet will say “I’m not looking for a relationship right now” but what they really mean is, “I’m not looking for a relationship WITH YOU.” Accept this and move on to someone who actually has the same goal in mind as you.
As I explained in the 10 Level Guide to Meeting Masculine Men, everyone has their own Level of Gay Comfort. How “comfortable” a man is in doing certain things to meet other guys determines his level of comfort in being a Gay/Bisexual man of color. I’m at a level Eight on the list which means that while I’m still very discreet, I’m comfortable enough to go to a Gay club or a date another masculine discreet man. However there are many men out there who consider me TOO comfortable and would never want to be seen going to the movies or having dinner with a man in public. Some paranoid closeted men only want to “date” other paranoids like them. Alternatively, many men who are “Out” only want to date men more comfortable with their sexuality. Ironically, many “Out” men are turned on by “down low” men even though these guys would never want to be seen dead in their presence. Same in reverse, I once tried to date a dude who was VERY much a homosexual, but he was still in denial, even to himself. If even in private you can’t even feel comfortable being Gay, you’re just wasting both of our time.
This one is tricky. Gay men come in all sizes with many different tastes. There are masculine men who LOVE feminine guys. There are masculine guys who ONLY like other masculine men. There are even masculine men who like a mixture of the two, preferably when making noises in bed. As a naturally masculine man, I’ve been rejected countless times because I was too masculine. It can be intimidating to some men. You can’t control the tastes of other individuals so there is no solution to be offered here except to just keep searching for a proper match.
Let’s face it: Some guys just don’t want a relationship. From the many stories I’ve heard, Gay relationships can be messy, complicated and full of unnecessary drama and aggravation. I’ve spoken to many men that in lieu of a relationship are content with just looking online for an occasional “hookup” to get the need for sex out of their system. Also, I’ve met many men who were IN A RELATIONSHIP that ended up using me to cheat on their partner. Some men can’t do commitment even in the process of trying. It’s as if their brain is monogamous but their dick is the philanderer. To each his own. If you are the type of man who prefers to be single, remain that way.
I’ve met quite a few of these. These clingy relationship types often expect monogamy after your first date. They can be seen sending you “Good Morning” text messages DAILY the night after meeting you for the first time. They start planning for your future together before you even learn each others last names. Look, there’s nothing wrong with getting excited once you’ve FINALLY found a man that meets your laundry list of standards and requirements, but there’s no faster way to run him off than to let him know you’ve already started picking out the drapes for your new home together after only a few dates.
There’s nothing worse than being a Top and finally meeting the perfect guy only to find out that he’s ALSO a Top. Same applies to Total Bottoms meeting other Total Bottoms. Then there are Fully Versatile guys who find it boring to date Non-Versatile men. Then there are the Oral Only men and the Fetish men and the list goes on…Some will say that sexual position doesn’t matter. Speaking from experience, it does. A man in a relationship that is unsatisfied sexually often starts to stray after awhile. Again, you can’t control the sexual tastes of other individuals so there is not much of a solution to be offered here except to just keep searching for a proper match.
This is the main reason that has kept me single for as long as I can remember. I seem to have a knack for meeting great men at the wrong time. From meeting him while I’m dating another guy, meeting him when I’m single but he’s in a relationship, meeting him when he’s just getting out of a relationship and he still hasn’t severed his feelings for his Ex, meeting him just as he’s cutting off all dating to focus on work/school, to meeting the perfect guy RIGHT BEFORE he’s about to move to the other side of the country…My timing sucks. What I’ve learned to do is to just lower my expectations. I’ve tried to meet as many guys as possible (discreetly) and develop quality friendships at the least so that my network can be widened, thus creating more opportunities to meet quality guys in the future.

DL Chronicles – Please Support their Fundraising Campaign

DL Chronicles is a great show produced by Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett. It first premiered back in 2007 and was an immediate hit. Well HERE TV, bought the rights for it and aired it for awhile before shelving it and not living up to a promise to produce a 2nd season. This is very similar to how LOGO fucked over Patrick Ian Polk and his show “Noah’s Arc”. It became quite evident that mainstream white LGBT networks didn’t want to promote shows featuring positive images of People of Color in the LGBT community.
Now that the rights to the DL Chronicles are now back in the hands of the creators, they are launching a campaign to relaunch this great show for 2012. Below is a video which they explain what happened, whats’ going on now and what they are planning for the future. It would be awesome if you can lend your financial support to them so we can see more great programs as the DL Chronicles.
You can contribute by going to this website by clicking here.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

Check out Black Gay British Film – "Say My Name"

I recently sat down and watched this great movie short called “Say My Name”. It’s a great story that deals with a matter that lots of black/latino couples deal with – openness about their relationship with family and friends. You can read more about the movie, the director, and more here on the “Say My Name” website!


Check out the short movie on the “Say My Name” website.
Warning: some of the language is nfsw so put on your headphones!

"A Letter to Oprah" from Dr. David Malebranche


A couple of weeks ago, Oprah revisited the topic of the “Down Low”. What could have been a very thought provoking show on why this behavior exist, etc., she decides to sensationalize it once again and has the one and only tired JL King spewing his madness. Upon watching this show, a very good friend of mine, Dr. David Malebranche wrote this letter to Oprah. All I can say is powerful!


Dear Oprah,

On a beautiful, sunny October 7th afternoon in Atlanta, Georgia, I sat down to enjoy a rare occasion where I could come home early from work to catch a new episode of your daily talk show that I have watched on and off for the better part of the past 3 decades. Upon pressing the info button on my remote, I learned that your show would be discussing a woman who “sued her husband for 12 million and won,” after finding out he had given her the HIV virus. To say I watched this episode unfold in horror is a profound understatement – I was uncomfortably riveted and disgusted for the entire hour.

To be quite clear, I wasn’t horrified or disgusted by the fact that this unfortunate Black woman had contracted HIV as a result of her husband’s secretive “Down Low” infidelities with other men. As a Black gay male, physician and public health advocate who has dedicated the past 12 years of my life to the behavioral prevention and treatment of HIV in the Black community, I have heard stories like your guest’s on this day more times than I would like to admit. To the contrary, the acidic taste of bile that coated the back of my throat as I heard her story was in response to the superficial and sensationalistic manner in which you handled the topic, and how it was apparent that you and your staff have learned absolutely nothing in the 6 years since you originally interviewed J.L. King on your “Down Low” episode in 2004.

Yes, you can claim that for this updated version of your “Down Low” show, you actually included the fact that publically “heterosexual” White men and men of other races are equally capable of having secretive homosexual affairs as their Black counterparts. And yes, this new version of J.L. King who again opportunistically sashayed onto your stage to promote himself now uses the word “gay” to describe his sexual identity (partly as a consequence of the fame and fortune he attained from appearing on your show). However, everything else about the show remained stuck in a metaphorical time warp in which Black women are portrayed as simple victims with no personal responsibility or accountability when it comes to their sexual behavior, and Black men are projected as nothing more than predatory liars, cheaters and “mosquito-like” vectors of disease when it comes to HIV.

I felt like I was like watching a train wreck or an car accident about to happen: it was so awful that despite wanting to turn it off, I found myself transfixed and could not bring myself to pick up the remote or change the channel. From the ominous background music and blurred images on the screen when discussing Black men being intimate with one another (God forbid!), to your declaration that reading your guest’s husband’s sexually explicit emails and messages on gay websites “blew your mind,” the way in which your show was staged did nothing to forward the conversation on the current facts or the social context that currently drives secretive same sex behavior among Black men and the current HIV racial disparity in the United States. Instead, what came across was a clear, fear-mongering and hyperbolic message: “Black women, look out for your husbands, they could be lying and cheating on you with other men and putting you at risk for HIV.” It was bad enough that 6 years ago, after your original “Down Low” show, you single-handedly launched a major media and cultural hysteria where Black women across the country were now searching for signs of how they could tell if their men were “on the Down Low” through stereotypical signs and ridiculously offensive generalizations about how homosexual men think and act. Your show also helped J.L. King and other self-proclaimed “HIV experts” make a lot of money off this capitalistic, fear-based industry to promote their books, movies and narcissistic products on the so-called “Down Low.” It did nothing, however, but open new wounds and put salt in the old scars caused by centuries of sexual exploitation and calculated pathologizing of Black bodies in the United States and internationally. The way you and your staff have handled this topic has done nothing but widen the already irreparable rifts between Black men and women, as well as between Black heterosexual and non-heterosexual peoples.

While I realize that this is your show’s “final season,” let me give you and your staff some suggestions on how you can better address this issue of the “Down Low” and HIV in the Black community if you ever wish to revisit this issue during this year:

  1. Please do some research on the facts explaining why so many Black women in the United States are contracting HIV. I can guarantee you that what you find will surprise you, as the vast majority of cases are not due to so-called “Down Low” Black men. Remember that in other countries like South Africa, India, Russia and China, there are millions of HIV cases attributable to heterosexual transmission. Ask yourselves where is the proof, outside of anecdotal stories that are splashed on your show, BET and the pages of Essence magazine, that bisexual men are primarily accountable for this horrible disparity among Black women?
  2. If you are going to tell the story of HIV in the Black community, please give equal consideration to the social context and personal story/struggles of Black men who contract the virus, regardless of whether it is through IV drug use or sexual behavior. I can tell you for certain that if you sit down and ask these men to tell their stories, you will undoubtedly have your eyes opened to the fact that there is much more to their lives than the “predator” labels you so easily ascribe to their actions. And believe it or not, Black men can also be “victims” of this disease when exposed through their wives or female sexual partners who don’t tell them about the other people with whom THEY have been having sex.
  3. If you are going to talk about the so-called “Down Low,” then really talk about it. That means, be prepared to discuss how Black men are socialized in this country to believe that our manhood solely exists in our athletic prowess, entertainment value, and the size and potency of the flap of skin that dangles between our legs. Moreover, be prepared to talk about how these manhood expectations placed on Black man are in stark contrast to the stereotypical images and expectations of “gay” men we see in the media: White men who assume a gender performance of how women are traditionally expected to act. And then talk about our society’s pervasive disdain, hatred and religious condemnation of anything that does not fall into a heterosexual “man-woman” norm of relationships and behavior, and how this puts pressure on men to deny who they truly are for fear of rejection and isolation. Only when you begin to scratch the surface of these dynamics can you begin to rise above your current myopic and pathologic lens through which you view and project secret homosexuality and bisexuality as an “immoral act” on your show.
  4. Have your team do better research on the notion that just because men do not disclose that they have same sex relations to their female sexual partners DOES NOT automatically mean that they are irresponsible when it comes to condom use. Simply put, “coming out of the closet” does not mean that a formerly “Down Low” brother will increase his condom use. I can provide you team with numerous studies to support this statement if it goes against your preconceived notions of the so-called “benefits” of “coming out.”
  5. Withhold your judgment and disdain for explicit homosexual websites until you take time to explore websites like craigslist, nudeafrica.com, xtube.com and the many others that heterosexuals are just as freaky, raunchy and sex-crazed as homosexuals are. If you really want to read some conversations, pictures and videos that will “blow your mind,” check out these websites and do a show on how HUMAN BEINGS are sexual creatures – instead of suggesting that homosexually active people have a monopoly on that market.
  6. Finally, if you are going to have a discourse on homosexuality or bisexuality on your show in the future, please be bold and courageous enough to tell the various sides of men’s stories. We are not all self-loathing, secretive, unprotected sex-having, disease ridden liars. Surely in the work you have done in the entertainment field over the past 3 decades, you have interacted with enough same gender loving men to realize that sexuality is a fluid journey for anyone, and that there are many Black homosexual men who are well-adjusted, comfortable with who we are, and at peace with our lives.

Oprah, I was so disappointed with your show and treatment of this follow up to your “Down Low” episode 6 years ago that I don’t know if I really care to watch the remainder of this, your final season. As a seasoned journalist, you have intricately described and explored the nuances of diverse topics such as eating disorders, mental health, spirituality, violence and criminality, cultural diversity and even the benevolent nature of human beings on numerous shows. You have approached these topics with a sensitivity and attention to detail regarding the social contexts driving human behavior, that even the most skeptical viewer can understand why some people do the things they do. So why is it with this topic (the so-called “Down Low”), particularly when it comes to the task of actually humanizing Black men, that you and your staff appear mentally, emotionally and intellectually incapable of creating a show that shows the rich, diverse and complex experience of being a Black male and homosexual in this country? Is it really that difficult?

As one of the most powerful human beings this country has seen in the past 30 years, and someone whose show I grew up watching, it would be nice if you realized your influence and took more personal responsibility for the quality of your shows that address serious topics like HIV in the Black community. The careless manner in which you continue to drive a wedge between relationships among Black men and women, between heterosexuals and homosexuals in this country through your one-sided analysis of Black sexuality in your shows is reprehensible. And I for, one, refuse to sit by idly and say nothing while you spoon feed sensationalism and fear to our community who will all too willingly eat every last drop because it comes from your hand. I need you to do better Oprah – the world is watching.

David J. Malebranche, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor

Emory University Division of General Medicine

49 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive

Suite 413

Atlanta, GA 30303

(404) 778-1630

(404) 778-1602 fax

dmalebr@emory.edu