Down Low in Dallas

Feature_4Here’s a piece on an overlooked segment of the gay community: Dallas’ mayates, Hispanic immigrants on the DL.

Ignacio doesn’t consider himself gay, because he is always activo when he’s with another man. Among mayates, there is one stark rule: The activo partner–or the person whom gay American men call a “top”–maintains his sense of masculinity, while the person who’s being penetrated does not. And among recent Hispanic immigrants, who don’t own much, manhood is a crucial possession. Mayates may think that letting another man give them a blowjob or giving anal sex to another man doesn’t constitute cheating on their wives or girlfriends back in their own countries.

Gay Caballeros: Inside the Secret World of Dallas’ Mayates [Dallas Observer]

(thanks Morgan)


  1. Orlando Câmara says

    A chac un son gôut!
    Not that I want to reenforce the prejudice, or the ignorance, but do we really need the labels? Do we really have to classify people as straight, gay, bi or trans? What for? Wouldn´t be better if we just let it go… Before kissing ou laying with some other man, do we require they sexual ID?

  2. says

    Riveting article. For the past several months my cousin has been telling me about his experiences with the mayates in NJ. The piece echoed, too well actually, his stories. I wonder about the intricacies of this among African-American men on the DL. Thanks for sharing the article. Really interesting!

  3. says

    That sentence “I’m not gay, ’cause I’m top” is very common in latin countries. It’s a stupid heterosexist prejudice, just like saying “I’m the man, ’cause I’m top”..

    and Orlando, if we want to get the same rights, we need to make a point first. That refuse to use labels only get us invisibility, our worst enemy.

  4. says

    Anywhere there’s a large immigrant Hispanic population, the mayates are present. Here in Atlanta, most are indistinguishable from the migrant workers in parking lots looking to get picked up for some daily labor. It’s kinda funny though; seeing how this is prevalent in another minority group probably won’t get the same media hoopla that African-American men on the down-low receive. Thank goodness there’s not a J.L. King or Keith Boykin around to glamourize it.


  5. Trina says

    Black men who is on the downlow is sick and confused thats why they dont have respect for women thats why so many black women is high streamly depressed downlow men or the worst gays, homosexual at least when a open gay guy he is not ashamed but a downlow man is shame of his sexuality

  6. Trina says

    Downlow men or not real 100% men if they were 100% real men why hide what they do from the women in thier life this is why HIV_AIDS IS ON the HIGH RISE I feel it should be a law something needs to be done about this and soon it should be a show created for women who is simply blind or in denial about down low men downlow men need to be put to the test meaning lets find away to exposed them since they want to stay in the closet

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