White Folks Won't Even Let Black People Have Their Own Secret Shame

Identity expert Benoit Denizet-Lewis showed up in Slate Friday to report on a disturbing new trend: white guys on the "Down Low." Denizet-Lewis, who first told the world that some black guys have sex with other black guys back in 2003, teases out the troubling implications of this blatant cultural appropriation: White guys are enjoying the "cool" of the DL without suffering the pain that goes with it. (Also, they're using it as an adjective, which is wrong on so many levels.) This is a difficult issue, dealing as it does with both race and sexuality, so we're hesitant to make light of it. We're just concerned that if this follows the same trajectory of other incidents where white folks have taken black concepts and adapted them to their own culture, we're going to lose our screaming queens to a new generation of masculine, closeted mos. And then who's going to play the sophisticated city girl's sassy best friend on all the sitcoms? Think about what you're doing, white folks.

Get Out of My Closet [Slate]