Monday, January 12, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: "No Homo"

"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.

She says:

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.

Well said.

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?


eliz said...

i think that jay smooth's take on no homo (as well as his take on, you know, most other things) is pretty great:
you can see it here

Anonymous said...

I like your comment about an over-sexed society, but, yeah, the "that's so gay" comment is one I've battled with my students for years.

Oh, and I passed on an award to you:

Hayden Thorne said...

Our culture's become so obsessed with sexuality. Porn's a big industry (though, apparently, they now need a bailout), and social conservatives are psychotically fixated on the GLBT community (as for the latter, wow - projection much?). People who go around with the whole "no homo" thing smacks of insecurity. Seriously, so what if you're straight or gay? If you're a jerk, you're a jerk, and a crummy personality has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation.

I wonder how people will take it if I were to go around, spouting off "non-breeding breeder" to everyone.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hey Eliz,
you're right - jay smooth's video is great! Thanks for letting us know about it!

Chocolate said...

I honestly don't get 'no homo'. Sometimes I hear guys say it when another guy says something that could be perceived as gay in a "Don't get the homo on me" way. Stupid, I know.

But most of the time, whenever I hear kids say it, it always seems sarcastic. Kind of meaningless. And I've heard plenty of people remark how stupid it was, so... I dunno.

Most of the time half of the offensive stuff teenagers say aren't meant to offend, just stupid and meaningless.