Discretion Vs. Denial

If I may, I’d like to paint a picture for you. Cool? Cool.

Picture this: it is the summer of 2002. I am 13 years old, and I have just confessed to my mother that I am gay.  My mother is neither too upset nor surprised by the confession, and I am still a bit on the fence on whether or not I’d made the right decision. Because my family is extremely close, telling one person something was – and still is – like sending it to the local newspaper; we all know soon after. Needless to say my sexuality had been broadcasted to the family, and right then I knew I’d done the right thing. I had officially become an out homosexual.

Fast forward to now: I am practically a 10-year veteran in the game with an unconscious ability to attract men who are on the down low (or DL). While some gay men actively seek men who are on the DL, whether because they themselves are or they just find them appealing, I don’t.

Now, I’m going to hip you to some game rather quickly in case you’ve been living under a rock.  Living on the down low simply means a person is engaging in same-sex relations on any account (physically, emotionally, full or part-time) and is blatantly lying about it.

While I’m referencing DL, I have to mention discreet too. Only because far too many people use “down low” and “discreet” interchangeably, when in reality they are two totally different things.

To me, the nature of a down low man is to lie, taunt, or do anything else they think will help conceal their true identity. Many even tend to be in so much denial that they deny any attraction to men, and really believe they are heterosexual men who just happen to bone other men. I’m so not here for all of that.

On the other hand, a person who is discreet is more likely to get a play card from than a person who is on the DL. Why? Well because discreet guys typically are guys who aren’t in denial about their sexuality. They will pick and choose who knows what and how much of it they know, but to completely deny their feelings for other men won’t happen.  Basically they just don’t want everyone in their business.

All in all, when dealing with someone who isn’t as out as you it can all be a problem. When dealing with someone who is on the down low, I feel as though there is a sense of embarrassment attached. When dealing with someone who is discreet I feel a sense of privacy.


Could you date someone with a different level of discretion? Share your thoughts!

  • http://www.evolsicisum.com J’Terron

    Honestly, I think it would be a challenge to date someone with a different level of discretion. I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it, but I do know that it would be a challenge because I’m completely open and secure with how I identify sexually. This article actually confirmed many thoughts I had while attempting to share the difference between the two with other people.

  • Jalen S.

    Great article, Marco.

  • J R Ewing

    Great article and I’m glad you did this. First off, it should be highlighted and underscored that there is a difference in discreet and down low. Like you stated, people use it interchangeably, and it is just not the same thing. I consider myself discreet because I know I am gay and I don’t deny it to anyone if they want to know. I don’t broadcast it, but I have my ways to let someone know I’m interested in them when necessary without causing a scene. A down low person uses methods of trickery to get what they want and that whole idea of using a female as a cover for who you really are is so overrated. Be who you are and happy with that and get out of that state of Denying Life (DL).

  • Phil T

    This was an interesting piece.

    I’m discreet. I don’t really tell people willy nilly but I will if I think you need to know. I never really hung around someone that was OUT until this weekend. It was an interesting experience. I’ll just say he probably ruined it for me hanging with guys that are OOUUUTTT in public.

  • rick

    I believe you can date someone at a different level of discretion, but not everyone could do it. and I think it would be to hard for most couples to find that “middle ground” so I dont think this type of relationship is for everyone.