J.L. King
PAGE 4
Despite his sexual desires, J.L. says he doesn't consider himself gay. "Why do I have to put a label on myself to make you feel comfortable?" J.L. asks.

J.L. says there's a stigma that exists for gay men, and he doesn't see himself that way. "I don't want to get caught up in the whole gay culture because people look at gay people as being less than a man, that you are this sissy ... this less than," he says. "The greatest taboo is to be black and homosexual, and I refuse to be labeled and classified as this character."

J.L. says men in the black community who come out and say, "I'm gay and proud," are treated differently. "All of a sudden I become: 'Oh, I want you to meet my gay friend, J.L. I want you to meet my gay brother, J.L. I want you to meet my gay father, J.L.,'" he says. "I don't want that."

In fact, J.L. says he lives on the down low—also known as the D.L.—because he doesn't want anyone to know about his sex life. "I want to do what I do," he says. "It's my business, and it's none of your business what I do."

When Oprah asks J.L. if "down low" is another term for denial, he agrees.

FROM: A Secret Sex World: Living on the Down Low
Published on April 16, 2004

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