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CELEBRATING COLOR

No More Down Low – The Best Black LGBT News Show You’ve Never Heard Of

When J.L. King brought his best-selling book ”On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of ‘Straight’ Black Men Who Sleep With Men” to the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004, suddenly everyone started talking about “down low” brothers: Why are they so closeted? What in the black community prevents gay men from coming out? Are guys on the DL giving HIV to their female partners?

Finally, openly gay black TV producer Earnest Winborne got fed up with all the ignorance and started No More Down Low, an online news show with black LGBT role models now celebrating its one year anniversary.

Before starting the series, Winborne thought:

Why are these nameless, faceless [down low] people who are creeping, so to speak, getting more media attention than the black same-gender-loving (SGL) people who are open and honest and living in their truth? Where are the black SGL role models who are productive members of our communities? Where are the television segments, talk shows, newspaper articles and stories that feature people like my friends and me?

Then one day while venting to a friend about it, he realized that his experience in TV and desire to see positive portrayals of LBGT African Americans on TV could potentially create one answer to the problem.

Every month they cover four stories—sometimes the same ones as Queerty—but from a vantage point that gives greater insight into the black community. For example, to highlight “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” they explained that black women got discharged more than anyone and interviewed Corporal Evelyn Thomas a lesbian Marine who got arrested for chaining herself to the White House fence.

They interviewed Collin Powell to discuss the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda, discussed Kobe Bryant’s anti-gay slur with The Los Angeles Lambda Basketball League and even joined 100 other black LGBT activists during the National Black Justice Coalition’s Out on the Hill Summit.

In a time when it remains a challenge to find good LGBT reporting with an eye towards racial issues, No More Down Low provides a good outlet and a great model for oft-ignored communities to begin telling their stories.

Via HuffPost Gay Voices

  • 13 Comments
    • LawLa
      LawLa

      I have learned so much about my black lgbt community from this show. God bless your endeavors and keep it coming!

      Oct 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • najo
      najo

      Yes! Thank you queerty for posting something related to black lgbt issues. I hope in time we’ll see more post regarding issue of lgbt people of color.

      Oct 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sed
      Sed

      I’ve watched this vlog before, it’s pretty good.

      Oct 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      I am a big fan as well. I stayed away because of the name, but once I checked it out, I realized that the show is so much than a one trick act.

      Oct 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      The whole “down-low” attitude is also very prevalent in the latino/hispanic communtiy.

      Oct 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I’ve watched it. I am glad for a positive portrayal of Black LGBT people. I never understood the “down- low” stuff, myself. I love being Out and Proud. You couldn’t get me to date a closet case or to be one myself for anything in the world. I am glad this is being addressed. Congrats on the one year anniversary, and thanks Queerty for posting this positive article.

      Oct 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Shannon1981: Its just another way of saying closet. I have no idea why people keep acting as if there is something alien about being in the closet in non-POC parts of the gay community. If that were true, we would not be celebrating when people come out.

      Oct 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aiden
      Aiden

      I like this post, wish Queerty would do more articles on LGBTs of color.

      Oct 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skeloric
      Skeloric

      @Aiden: Really? I’ve seen Queerty really shove its head up its own ass on a number of stories thus far that I’d personally be glad if they aren’t covering “MY ISSUES”.
      There needs to be a specific SNOPES-style site simply to take everything QUEERTY spews out and check it for factual information first and then to critique its glaring misanthropy in selecting story titles as well in the way the story is written.

      Oct 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skeloric
      Skeloric

      Lets be clear, I know I am a misanthrope — I’ve seen too damn much scumbaggery in “The Church” as well as coming from “Conservatives” so I’ve neither much time nor much hope even for humanity ever to rise above the level of vermin.
      But for a website to blatantly dish out misanthropic snark on a continuous basis is too much ever for me.
      Its in the way a story gets written or the trashy way a story gets titled, it becomes cloying and completely dreary.
      I want a chance to rise above my loathing for humanity (it truly annoys my BF how much of a misanthrope I am) rather than arrive at a website that helps me to wallow in it.
      YET, HOW MANY OPTIONS DO WE REALLY HAVE IN OUR NEWS?
      Not enough to be able to stop coming here.

      Oct 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cinesnatch
      Cinesnatch

      Queerty fails to make mea culpa for D. Villarreal’s tasteless headline: http://tiny.cc/yurxm

      Oct 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skeloric
      Skeloric

      @Cinesnatch: Which is definitely NOT news since we ALL know about the problem already.

      Oct 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Cinesnatch: One can’t idiot proof writing. The title is a reflection of the fact that the judge does not seem to want to protect the privacy of the guy this kid was dating. The title was meant to illustrate that it is inappropriate. It was like the time the Columbia Law student asked Antonia Scalia the S.Ct. justice, what sex positions did he like to do with his wife, and Scalia became outraged. The whole point was that Scalia became outraged at something that he felt he had a right to know about gay people. If one is going to have a higher level of discussion one can not do it trying to avoid folks who don’t even get the point being made. The point to me- in reading the article- whether you agree with it or not- is that the information should be private since this is a privacy trial. Now, if you want to get angry at that- that’s one thing, but take a title out of context to run with it without discussing the substance is just playign to the idiot factor.

      Oct 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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