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The DL Chronicles (2007) and The Chadwick Journals (2012)

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

CHADWICK as portrayed by Damian T. Raven, and others, on The DL Chronicles (2007) and The Chadwick Journals (2012)

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This entry is a little bit different because the series lived primarily online, although it did find a home on the relatively obscure "Here" network. Yet somehow, before Instagram and in the nascient days of Twitter, it found an audience with at least a few Black gay men I knew. Just as the title suggests, this series focuses on the lives of Black men who engaged in sexual and romantic relationships with women and men simultaneously, without disclosing this to all involved. AKA "being on the DL" . I have never dated women in earnest, but I still devoured this series as soon as I encountered it. At the time, I enjoyed it because it was one of the few places I could see Black gay men's stories. In hindsight, I appreciate that it attempted to address this layered issue in a comprehensive way. The stories centered the closeted men, but it showcased their range -- from the morally corupt man sleeping with his wife's brother to the gay man trying to figure out how to share his identity with his college-aged daughter, and a whole bunch of stuff in between. And, they offered perspectives from their openly gay lovers, families and friends. The production is very much "indie", but I think it was interesting, and maybe even subversive for the time. My biggest criticism is the title. I wish the series was called something else because "DL" became such a salacious and weaponized term. And, it fueled the witchhunt to out gay men and ignore the margins and complexity of identity. I think "The DL" era in general created an unnecessary wedge between different types of Black gay men. Of course this was foolish because we were all sleeping together anyway. .

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