A while ago while checking in for my appointment with the woman-doctor, I was selected to undertake a semi-anonymous survey about “black women’s attitudes, knowledge, and experiences with sexual health and the ‘down low’ epidemic.” I did it for the free t-shirt. I wish there had been a comment box, for if there had been I would have written in large, black box letters “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!”

The “down low” is a new name for the same ol’ thing. Liberace was on the down low. The daddy from the Brady Bunch was on the down low. Rock Hudson was on the down low. Why do we [black people] have to set ourselves apart on some silly shit? I will agree that the black mainstream is much less tolerant of homosexuality than the white mainstream, but I disagree that there are massively more “straight” black men who sleep with other men on the side than there are “straight” white men who do the same. Unless you are of the opinion that black men are simply so damn sexually magnificent that even they can’t stay away from themselves, it just doesn’t make any sense. (I mean, they are magnificent, but damn.)

So I finished the survey. It asked a whole bunch of personal questions to say it wasn’t so anonymous… maybe I don’t want Brocker Health Center knowing whether or not I screw black guys exclusively or dip into the cream from time to time. Can a chick have jungle fever on the low? I wonder how successful/accurate their results ended up being, because I know I felt a little uncomfortable answering sexual risk questions right before a gyno exam (do you always use a condom? are you afraid of getting AIDS from a down low man?) and I’m not even doing anything. The UNCC t-shirt was nice though. My first one. And all because of a laundry-detergent rash.