How To Be Really Good At Being A Down-Low Brotha


Remember back in 2004? When gay Black men pretending to be straight became America's boogeymen, getting blamed for everything from H.I.V. rates to your half-empty bottle of juice in the office fridge? ("Man. Damn DL brothas must've drank my apple juice again. Fuck J.L.King!")


And remember how everyone  — well, everyone except Tyler Perry — eventually said "You know what? We probably should stop blaming a demographic that comprises .00001% of the population on everything that's wrong with our community."?

Well, apparently my Facebook feed caught a very strange bout of amnesia this morning, as multiple people were sharing and talking about Farrah Gray's "10 Signs On How To Tell If He’s On The Down Low" — a list so 2004 that I felt (and still feel) like it was performance art.

Anyway, VSB is here for the people — down-low brothas included. And to combat Gray's 10 ways to separate the manly men from the…not-really manly, manly men, here's some help for the down-low cat trying to avoid detection.

(Gray's tip) 1. He is meticulous about his appearance to the point he has more facial care products than you.

(My advice) Never shave. And if you do shave, use hand sanitizer as after shave. Cause that's what manly men do.

(Gray's tip) 2. Who are his idols? Does he like people, especially celebrities that take it to the limit? Frank Ocean, Don Lemon, Shaun T.


(My advice) Idolize three people. Jesus. Jason Bourne. And Ludacris.

(Gray's tip) 3. His favorite TV shows are like “America’s Next Top Model,” “Housewives of Atlanta” and anything that showcases beauty and femininity.


(My advice) If you walk in on your girl watching "America's Next Top Model", say "Tyra Banks can be the next top model on my dick, wit dem tiddies", fart, and leave the room.

(Gray's tip) 4. Watch his eyes. Where do they go or whom do they focus on when you are out? Is he looking at other chicks or other men?


(My advice) Wear sunglasses.

(Gray's tip) 5. He likes to shop. We’re not talking going to Sports Authority or to the mall to get the latest Lebron James sneakers. We’re talking clothes, toiletries and skin care.


(My advice) I have none. I'm just grateful to Gray for pointing out that gay men like to buy toilet paper. Cause I had no idea.

(Gray's tip) 6. He understands other gay men, meaning he doesn’t criticize them and is not afraid to defend them if the topic comes up.


(My advice) If anyone ever says anything about gay rights, same-sex marriage, or Nathan Lane around you, start humming the chorus to TOK's "Chi-Chi Man Song."

(Gray's tip) 7. Studies show that when it comes to gaming, a gay dude will pick a strong, strong man or a female character when they are playing games with family and friends.


(My advice) Just don't game at all. Gaming is for queers. And Kobe fans.

(Gray's tip) 8. It’s such a cliché, but it’s so true. Gay men are usually fashionable to a fault. He’s more likely to compliment your outfit or a particular piece than you.


(My advice) The next time your girl asks if what she's wearing makes her look fat, say "Yes, bitch. But that's good, though. Cause I like my bitches fat." When done, fart and walk out of the room.

(Gray's tip) 9. His social media profiles… are they full of other men rather than women?


(My advice) I can't help you. I have no idea what this even means.

(Gray's tip) 10. The obvious – the way he walks, the way he talks and the way he expresses himself.


(My advice) If in doubt, just ask yourself one question: WWCD (What would Cam'ron do?)

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



That #6…i kinda want to punch Farrah in the throat for that one. I defend gay men because like any other minority, they've been shamed for being what they are to the point where they do stupid ish behind closed doors. That doesn't make me or anyone who stands up for gay men gay, that makes us aware a problem needs to be solved, not ignored.(And Champ, in case you ain't know, TOK - Chi Chi Mon is about burning gay dudes alive… no, they won't be humming that)

And that #7…i pick female avatars in my games because dude avatars are boring and i like boobs. The nerve of this no information-having t.w.a.t typing this crap. You're right Champ, this is so 04, I'm convinced she's rocking Dipset jerseys to sleep and preordering the original I-pod while checking her Blackplanet & Migente pages.