This is not something new but in the recent years there are a number of people who have been married for a long time and has a family then suddenly decided to come out and live their true lives. It may be new for this generation to hear such a thing but it is more realistic to believe that a number of men and women have been gay and hiding for years. For example, the very married New Jersey governor decided to be honest after being outed about his sexual tryst with a male intern. Obviously, like many others, it’s not just that some men and women come out years after making a marital commitment but also the fact that during their marriages they decided to cheat and become involved in risqué behaviors in order to discover their true sexual preference. So, how does this affect the dating prospect for single Christians?
The term “down-low” is usually in reference to Black American men who have homosexual affairs while in a committed heterosexual relationship and then denying that they are gay. In this post, the reference down-low is indicating men and women of all races who are gay and hiding behind a heterosexual life. In a recent article about the late Oral Roberts’ grandson, Randy Roberts Potts indicated that he knew he was gay but still decided to marry and subsequently have children. He eventually divorced because he was unhappy with pretending. This seem to be the prevailing stories of everyone who becomes ex-hetero.
One has to be living under a rock to not understand why some gay men and women decide on taking the down-low choice. This is a good way to blend in with ‘normal society’ and avoid discrimination. This issue is not isolated to the regular world but it has and will always be a part of the Christian community because the ‘normal people’ make up the church body. Like any other unfaithful behavior, the activities of down-low individuals affect their partners. In the 80’s when HIV and the fatal AIDS rant rampant, a number of unsuspecting heterosexual men and women were being infected by their cheating down-low partners who did not use protection and had multiple lovers. This is no different today as people pass on STIs due to infidelity.
One important caveat is that this post is not advocating any beliefs in causation of homosexuality and HIV or AIDS. The fact is that the down-low individuals will do almost anything to keep their secret. Trying to bottle such a huge lie require compromises which an average individual would not have normally undertake. Take for instance, the senator who solicited a man whom he thought was gay (turns out to be a cop) in a bathroom. The down-low individual is more than likely to engage in high risk behaviors: multiple partners rather than one long-term lover which increases the exposure to STI’s.
Some of the responses of the jilted spouses includes feeling a great sense of anger and bewilderment. How could they have not known until it was too late? Were they ever loved by their down-low spouses? Were their entire marriage and life a lie? Were their lives just wasted years? No one would feel good about being someone’s fall back guy no matter how much of a good explanation was provided. As single Christians, this is another obstacle to consider when dating. Many people are coming out today to live as gay men and women but many are still not comfortable with their orientation. Just like the spouses in the past and some who are living that life right now, it can happen. Some people boost about having a good gaydar but I doubt the average person has such a keen eye.
Due to the unwavering anti-gay sentiments of the church, gay men and women who want to be a part of the Christian community will inevitably hide their sexuality to ‘blend in.’ This spells disaster for a heterosexual single Christian who could find him/herself with a potentially down-low dating partner. There is no win-win in these situation because both people are not entering into a relationship with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A relationship based on deception is bound to unravel one way or another usually later than sooner.
Is there a way to prevent yourself from being the heterosexual cover for a closeted gay individual? Maybe developing better gaydar? Befriend a gay individual and use him/her as your gaydar? Being conscientious of feminine mannerism for men? Being aware of your date going overboard to prove his/her interest in having a relationship? Is there really a sure-fire way to tell about a person’s homosexual orientation before you are hooked line and sinker? The reality is most people, whether gay or hetero, pretend to be a perfect version of themselves when they just meet someone. It is not until you are hooked and invested before the true nature come forth; however, sometimes, when people are involved they begin to ignore the warnings.
The bottom line is no one is 100% sure about someone else during the mating dance. The only weapon is to use your good judgment when you become suspicious of someone’s behaviors instead of burying your head in the closet. It’s better to ask questions early rather than wait until years of investment to waking up and facing the harsh reality that you have made a big mistake. In this day and age, it would not be too rude to ask your date if s/he has ever had a strong attraction to the same-sex?