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T’ain’t nobody’s business if I do:Imelge shares the lowdown on Steven G. Fullwood’s D.L. life story.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to talk about the black community’s longstanding ambiguity concerning their menfolk and adulterous behaviors. For centuries, many men have led double lives, one as a faithful husband, and the other as a unconfined, free-wheeling bachelor. Before it even had a name, black folks condoned DL culture. Why else would it be a recurring theme in so many blues and jazz songs, with their messages of double lives, secrets and claimed freedom? “Just don’t let me find out about her,” “T’aint nobody’s business if I do,” and so on. I’ve heard women, and a few men, deliver soliloquies about this idea all my life. All any man had to worry about was being circumspect.

So let’s take this opportunity to set the record straight (sorry). If a man is on the DL, that’s his business. If he spends his time out having unprotected sex with men (or women), contracting venereal diseases and bringing them home to his girlfriend or wife or male lover, then that’s another story. That’s an issue of honesty, not sexuality � or, to the point, homosexuality. Honesty to the people we’re involved with, especially the people we’re sleeping with, is bottom-line crucial. But honesty to the whole damn world, especially a world prepared to hurt us for our orientation, is up to the individual.

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