From Black Voices — Here we go again. In light of Bishop Eddie Long‘s recent sex scandal, controversial author J.L. King is making headlines again.

On an episode of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ set to air Oct. 7, the New York Times best selling author revisits a topic from 2004 — in which he appeared on the national syndicated talk show for his double life as a loving husband who engaged in homosexual affairs.

King, who penned the 2004 tome ‘On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of ‘Straight’ Black Men Who Sleep With Men,’ offered insight on the secret life of “down low” men. He became the face of undercover bisexuality in the African American community.

During an interview with BlackVoices.com last year, the Springfield, Ohio native said: “Among brothers and sisters, there continues to be a distrust of brothers by Black women. This distrust is one of the most noticeable areas in our community that need healing!”

Off the strength of ‘On the Down Low,’ King was thrust into the limelight with television appearances on networks such as PBS, BET, CNN — becoming the poster child — if you will — of the “Down Low Lifestyle.”

In the wake of the Bishop Long scandal, he has resurfaced.

King’s knowledge of the topic hits home for ‘Oprah’ guest, Bridget, who says she contracted HIV from her spouse due to, what she claims to be, his double life.

(Continue Reading @ Black Voices…)

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  • WoW

    Can everyone just come out the closet already?

    • Well what are you doing to challenge homophobia? People aren’t born into this world ashamed of their sexual orientation. We are conditioned to hate those who are gay and in turn gay people are taught to hate themselves for being gay. You can’t blame people for being in the closet when we live in a society, and in particular, a black community that is virulently homophobic.

      Either you challenge homophobia with all your might, or you deal with the consequences of said homophobia, and that is men and women who are taught to be ashamed of who they are, and thus they lie to fit into what society thinks they should be.

      Homophobia created the closet and only by challenging, fighting, and eradicating homophobia can we destroy the closet.

    • @Wow: I think I understand why you wrote what you did as J.L. King did, in fact, come out of the closet and admitted to lying to Oprah about not being gay the first time he appeared on her show. I don’t think you or anyone has to justify themselves, let alone satisfy somebody’s litmus test for challenging homophobia and, though it’d be nice, no one is obligated to challenge it.

      You’ve a gay male IGBFF and I’ve two gay male relatives that spoiled and indulged me ridiculously from day one and whom I adore beyond all rhyme and reason. I’ve no doubt Auntie James will be a blessing to your son since, as you know, children come into this world innocent and loving and homophobia (like hate and racism) is taught! However, I feel the term (homophobia) is thrown around way too loosely, and often without valid cause, these days and doing so is alienating to many potential allies, supporters and those open to change and view things differently.

      As you probably do, I wish with all my heart society was at the point where no LGBT had/felt the need to live in a closet or hide – but I excuse no one (gay or straight) for flat out lying, sleeping around, being dishonest, failing to give their mate the respect and right to make an informed decision whether to be in a relationship (or sleep) with them, and putting another’s health at risk.

  • I love Oprah and I respect her very much, but I can never forgive her for how she approached this topic. The “down low” is a myth. It’s not about gay men, or straight women, or race, or class, or whatever else. People all over this world live secret lives for any number of reasons. I don’t think there is a person on this planet who doesn’t keep something from another person. The focus should have always been on promoting people to be honest with themselves and others *period* and not just in terms of sexuality.

    By focusing on the racial and sexual element we do nothing but further demonize the black community as well as homosexuality.

    The “down low” has been around for centuries and it has little to do with race or sexuality and more to do with integrity, security, and honesty with self and others.

    The more we make it seem like “those people,” the easier it is for us to gloss over our own down low behavior. The secret accounts we open, the secret spending we do, the lies we tell, the cheating that we do, gay, straight, or bi.

    • WoW

      @ Anti-Intellect

      Well what are you doing to challenge homophobia?

      Ok.. Well I have a GBFF (Gay Best Friend Forever or maybe IGBFF cause he’s Italian) and we shop and dine at the finest establishments in San Francisco and the suburbs, Oh, I’m black by the way and just recently had a child so he accompanies me with the tot. Oh the stares we get. Not so much because we are in the gay capitol on the West Coast but Dick and Jane we are not.

      He is a loan officer and when real-estate was red hot we referred his services to my husbands co-workers who are not gay. We did not tell them he was gay and guess what,,,,when someone is refinancing a shitty interest-only loan into a legit one….no one really gives a damn.

      I think I’m doing a great job. My son will grow up knowing Auntie James and respect him just as he does his other relatives.

      I’d say I’m doing a fine job fighting homophobia.

    • Orange Star Happy Hunting

      Anti everyone isn’t living shady, nor are people perfect. but some people area actually on the up and up believe it or not.
      There just always seems to be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many excuses for this type of deceit. Homophobia being main one.
      Everyone that doesn’t agree with certain lifestyles are not homophobic, have no hatred or malice what so ever, in fact are they may be very homo friendly, to people that choose to be honest with themselves and everybody else they may sleep with or just befriend.

      When folk lie about things of this magnitude they take away the choice, an honest choice based on truth for authentic connections and relationships not some facade based on nothing but lies. SMH

    • @WoW

      Let’s see I write for my school newspaper as an openly gay man on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. I host and moderate panel discussions regarding sexuality in the black community and society. I do workshops within the LGBT community as well as in the heterosexual community. I have a series of videos I recorded. I blog full time. And I have also lobbied as well as marched on behalf of gay rights and ending homophobia.

      If you need any more information on “What I am doing” I will be sure to fill you in.

      @Orange Star Happy Hunting

      I’m not here for big lies and little lies. It’s all deceit and it’s all deception. A lack of honesty is a lack of honesty. Be open and honest with your sexual and romantic partners and you won’t have these problems. We all do it, it’s not just black gay men. Also referring to homosexuality as a “lifestyle” is like referring to blacks as colored or negro. It’s outdated and offensive. Bring your terminology up if you want to address me as I have a low tolerance for ignorance.

  • WoW

    So because I don’t have a picket sign in front of my District Attorney’s house my efforts are inferior to yours?????? Really Anti-intellect? So I’m supposed to march and protest to be on par with you right? Only then will you validate my subtle actions. You sound worse than blacks who tell other blacks what being black really is.

    I’ve come to learn that money is power. In San Francisco’s Financial District, LGBT people don’t have to protest. They shape our laws, (and like you) write for mainstream media, own cable stations. But because they are not protesting—-that is also inferior by your book as well.

    I assume you took what I said to be satirical. But I live the life. James is my best friend–my only friend. My only hope is that one day this conversation will be as obsolete as debating if the world is flat.

    I wish you well in all your efforts.

  • S.

    I saw this episode and I have to say that I was disturbed for many reasons but anyone who watched the show would know which one stood out the most…

    I was MORE than disturbed to hear the HIV-infected lady, Bridget, pour her soul out to Oprah about how she ‘wouldn’t choose to live if she knew what her life would be’ and how “WICKED” the side-effects of the medication she has to take is–and THEN to sit there and have the audacity to BEAM with JOY that she is pregnant!… And she doesn’t know if her child would be infected!… And she conceived “the old fashion way” allowing herself to be selfish enough to possibly infect her boyfriend (even though he was willing), even though the entire show she was “heated” from the selfishness of her late husband for infecting her

    I don’t want to pass judgment on this lady because I could NEVER imagine what she has been through and what mental state she is in but I have to say that she must be desperate for some purpose in her life and in denial about her selfish actions–to produce a child who has a chance to be sentenced with the same disease that she is.
    Doesn’t matter if there is 99% chance or a 1% chance of this child contacting the disease, NO person in their right mind would produce a child with even that much probability!

    At first I was disappointed that Oprah didn’t call her out but I understand how touchy of subject that is and she (Bridget) already checked Oprah once, Im sure Oprah didn’t want to see that happen again Lol j/k