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that typically refers to a subculture of black men who usually identify as heterosexual, but who have sex with men; some avoid sharing this information even if they have female sexual partner(s) married or single.
These stereotypes are reinforced by a society that's increasingly embracing white gay men in pop culture, but still lacks representation of gay men of color, both in mainstream and erotic media.
The experiences of the men in the video underscore how badly these representations are needed in the "real world." Some of these stereotypes play out most obviously on online dating sites, where we often judge one another in nanoseconds based on a single photo.
And oftentimes, it's the seemingly innocuous pickup lines that do the most damage.
One man in the video recounted the night he was approached and told, "Oh my gosh, I've totally never dated a black person before, but if I did, I'd totally get with you." Johnson remembered the time a man put his hand on his shoulder outside a club and said, "You know, Cameron, I'm really into mulatto guys." "You know what, I'm not really into ethnic guys," another participant once heard.
"I have never been one who has had a lot of luck with online dating apps.
There seems to be a desire for that which isn't me.
"I guess the biggest stereotype is that black men are just penises with Timberlands attached, and that whatever we have to offer sexually is our only value," Johnson told ."For the black gay community, the self-imposed stereotype is that there's only one way to be a gay black man.
So on the app, that looks like a lot of empty inboxes," one man in the documentary said.
from Ok Cupid in 2009 showed that gay black men received 20% fewer responses to messages than non-blacks.
Down-low has been viewed as "a type of impression management that some of the informants use to present themselves in a manner that is consistent with perceived norms about masculine attribute, attitudes, and behavior".
According to a study published in the Journal of Bisexuality, "[t]he Down Low is a lifestyle predominately practiced by young, urban Black men who have sex with other men and women, yet do not identify as gay or bisexual." In this context, "being on the Down Low" is more than just men having sex with men in secret, or a variant of closeted homosexuality or bisexuality — it is a sexual identity that is, at least partly, defined by its "cult of masculinity" and its rejection of what is perceived as white culture (including white LGBT culture) and terms.