Being a single woman in the current dating field, I find myself evaluating men differently than I had years before. Now in my “evaluation” so to speak, I try to establish a man’s sexuality. I’m sure most single straight women have dealt with the challenge of determining whether or not a man is gay or bisexual. Within the past ten years a widespread discussion about Down Low men has emerged, and honestly it is scary. Homosexuality and bisexuality is not necessarily scary, rather one’s deceit about their lifestyle is scary. Down Low men publicly portray themselves as heterosexual men, but they secretly have sexual relations with men. Down Low men marry and father children with women without disclosing their homosexual lifestyle. It’s been said the subculture of Down Low men developed within the African-American community due to discrimination towards homosexuals within the culture. However in my opinion, I think Down Low happens in all cultures and communities. African American’s may have been the first to expose the subculture, but I believe globally and culturally, the Down Low subculture already existed. The first time I heard about Down Low men I asked myself, “How didn’t their wives know?” It was an honest question, which at the time I thought was a simple one, but now I’m not so sure the question was fair. How would a woman know if their mate is homosexual? What are the signs? Do homosexual signs even exist, or are they just a bunch of stereotypes?
Years ago a man who wore pink anything was deemed gay. A woman who looked athletic was deemed gay or bisexual. (With women bisexuality is always thrown in because it’s more appealing for a woman to be bisexual than it is for a man.) Taking a look at both of these examples, it is interesting how society’s opinions have changed. Women won’t think twice now if they see a man in pink. Men find athletic built women attractive now, and sometimes more appealing. It is interesting to see how what was once considered gay, is now not only ‘heterosexual,’ but sexy too! Are these the signs to identifying one’s sexuality? Tradition, trends, and society is constantly evolving, so I would think appearance, clothes and mannerisms are not concrete ways to identify one’s sexuality. However society categorizes (of course everyone has to be in a cultural box) based on these characteristics. Here are a few examples of what we (society) have considered the “look” of alternative lifestyles.
Author Terry McMillan married Jonathan Plummer, the inspiration for her book “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” in 1998. The couple divorced in 2004 after Plummer revealed to McMillan he was gay. Did you think he was gay?
Although Miami Heat power-forward Chris Bosh is engaged to Adrienne Nicole Williams, there has been public speculation that Bosh is gay. The speculation is often based on his mannerisms and attire. Are these signs of homosexuality?
In 2001 when Alicia Keys debuted her first album “Songs in A Minor,” the public speculated the singer was gay due to her tomboyish ways. During that time Keys preferred pants over skirts, which the public associated with lesbianism. During a Hot 97 radio interview with radio jockey Funkmaster Flex, Keys made a public statement she was not gay, and at the time had been in a heterosexual relationship for over five years. Later on in July 2010 Keys married producer Swizz Beatz. Does tomboy mean gay?
Back in the day Queen Latifah was known for being the ‘around the way chick’ from Jersey. She was personable with a beautiful smile, and I don’t remember anyone during her reign in the 80’s and 90’s, speculating the Queen was gay. It wasn’t until her film role in “Set It Off” as Cleo, when the buzz began the Queen was a lesbian. Although she has not publicly come out, it is suspected that she and personal trainer Jeanette Jenkins, have been a couple for years. During the peak of her rap career (80’s – 90’s) did you think the Queen was gay?
What does homosexual and transgender look like anyway? The above examples can either prove or disprove homosexual and transgender signs exist. Maybe the point is that sexuality is a gamble just like everything else in dating. There are effeminate straight men, and there are tomboy straight women. Get to know a person, and if their lifestyle is questionable, one should ascertain whether or not to continue dating him or her. There’s nothing wrong with speculating one’s sexuality for the sake of your personal lifestyle, but I wonder if attire and mannerisms are enough of a sign. Sometimes the people who you think are gay, are not, and the people who you think are straight, are not. I don’t want anyone to be confused by this post, which is not to discriminate against homosexuals and transgender. The purpose, however, is to present a real point of view of what single straight women, and I assume men, think about regarding sexuality. There are men and women with alternative lifestyles who are dishonest about their lifestyle, so yes I feel the need to ask questions. As I prepare to relocate from New York to Atlanta, I get warnings from my girlfriends about the largely gay population in Atlanta. This will not be my first time living in Atlanta, and I disagree location has anything to do with it. Let’s be real, alternative lifestyles are everywhere! I haven’t experienced a mate who revealed to me his secret alternative lifestyle, but I’d be lieing if I said it wasn’t something I thought about in dating. I am interested to find out what you think. Do you think there are signs of homosexual and transgender lifestyles, and in your opinion what are the signs?
Check out this video clip from a Jerry Springer episode. What was your first impression of Yolanda?
*Please be advised any discriminatory comments toward alternative lifestyles will be deleted. You may disagree, but please be respectful.*