"No Homo" is a way to make sure what you say doesn't have people thinking you're gay.
Like in this song by Lil Wayne - about 15 seconds in, he sings "Feed Me, Feed Me, Feed Me... No Homo!" And then laughs...
Ellen Friedrichs, who has a cool blog for GLBT Teens, talks in a post about how she thinks it's a continutation of the "That's so gay" put-down - another example of language being used in a homophobic way.
It is just so amazing to me that a guy would be so afraid of associating himself with anything that could cast a shadow of doubt on his sexuality, that he would qualify the most innocuous phases with a disclaimer.
Aside from the obvious homophobia implicit in a no homo, the main thing that phrase says to me is that the person using it is so ill at ease with himself and his place in the world, that he needs to constantly prove his heterosexuality.
I wonder, are the guys saying this actually closeted and gay, or are they so insecure in how other people see them that they have to pepper everything with "eh, no homo."
On some level, "no homo" is a sign of how our culture has become so sexualized that almost any comment could be mis-interpreted, straight or gay.
Imagine a straight guy saying to a girl that he knows isn't available "You're beautiful..." Is it a come-on? If he followed it by saying, "Don't get me wrong - I'm not coming on to you." It would be a polite clarification, right?
So here's what I've decided:
Maybe there needs to be another expression, that I can use the next time I see one of my straight women friends... I'll say, "Hey, you look great... No Hetero." Just so she knows that I'm not coming onto her. 'Cause I wouldn't want anyone thinking that I'm one of those promiscuous heteroSEXuals.
What do you think?