‘No Homo’-phobia

Okay, I have officially abandoned the daily blog about me thing. Mostly because I’m bored of talking about myself, probably about as much as you are bored of hearing about me. So, I’m officially starting to write about things that matter to me.

This didn’t make my top 5 pet-peeve list, mostly because I hadn’t heard it in a while, so I didn’t think of it. If I were to put it on my list, it would be at the very top. I hate when straight people say ‘no homo’ or things equivalent to that.

Note: I would like to point out that I’m speaking based on my personal experience or have referenced someone else. I will speak in generalizations sometimes in order to talk about certain things. I understand that everyone has a different experience in life and that everyone have their own opinions. I would be happy to hear any opinions from others based on their experiences.

If you have never heard the phrase ‘no homo’, allow me to educate you on its use in popular culture today. If two men or two women do something together that could make them look a little bit gay, they will say ‘no homo’. Apparently, these words have magical powers.

No Homo

According to Wikipedia (who reference Weiner, Jonah (2009-08-06). “Does This Purple Mink Make Me Look Gay? The rise of no homo and the changing face of hip-hop homophobia”. Slate.), the term ‘no homo’ started as slang in 1990’s in East Harlem. As I stated above, people would use this term to avoid a misinterpretation of something said (or done) that could be seen as a double-entendre. It is normally used to say ‘I AM straight no matter what I just said or am about to say’. For example, “I’m coming; no homo” or two girls just kissed and then say ‘no homo’.

We already assume a lot about the people in our lives, whether we know them well or they are strangers walking on the street. We tend to assume a binary gender, such as male or female, and if given enough cues, we tend to assume sexuality. However, if not enough cues are given, straight is the default. I get it, we like to stick people into the boxes we have already set up. I also understand that we’ve all pretty much been raised to believe that straight is normal, the default factory setting. This is why our society is considered to be hetero-normative.

Now, there are a lot of reasons that I hate the term ‘no homo’ and that various versions of it. Most of it is rooted in that fact that these words, no matter how playfully said or innocently meant, reek of homophobia. If you say something like this, you must on some level believe that there is something wrong with being gay because you need to distance yourself from it. I believe that this is fueled by homophobia.

Here is where I’m going to break it down a bit more. This all started because one of my Facebook friends posted a few pictures of her and her friend. One of the pictures was of them kissing. The post was all about how great of friends they are and then at the bottom, just above the photo collage, it says “and we aren’t lesbos” or something to that effect.I will just specify that I have no problem with women kissing other women (I frequently kiss my wife). My problem has very little to do with the photo.My anger stems from the fact that these two women kissed and then specified that they aren’t gay, like it would be wrong somehow if they were.

If you identify as straight to the world and then do something that is gay, don’t preface that with your protests that you aren’t gay. We know. I’m sure most of the gay community is completely aware of just how straight you are. Besides, you just finished telling everyone how great of friends you are. We were all wondering why on earth you posted a photo that had you kissing if you didn’t want people to think you were gay. It’s a thing that people who are actually gay do.

This is where my anger really stems from. People die because they are gay. Women who identify as lesbian are raped by men who think they can ‘fix’ them with their magical boner. Gay men are put to death by their governments in some countries because they are gay. People have been thrown in jail for being gay. So if you are going to post your photo of you kissing someone of the same sex, think about all those people who died or were violated because they didn’t have the freedom to say ‘oh, but we aren’t gay’. You spit in their memories when you pull out your straight card. You don’t bear any of the anger and you get off scot-free.

But not today.

If you want to kiss people of the same sex and still identify as straight, you go for it. But don’t act like you are somehow better than people who do it because they are actually gay by distancing yourself from it. You kissing someone of the same sex and posting about it is something I would consider gay. Either be proud of your gay kiss or keep it for your private photo collection. The gay people in your life don’t need reminders of how easy it is for you to kiss someone of the same sex and not ever worry about the repercussions that people of the community actually deal with.

And yes, I know I’m completely over-thinking it. You didn’t mean it that way. You just don’t want people to think that you kissing women makes you gay. Well, guess what, I am gay. I kiss women. I am a lesbian and I’m proud. There is nothing shameful about being gay. I know that, but when you kiss your friend and then post it, telling everyone that you aren’t gay, it makes me wonder who you are trying to convince. You don’t live in this community as a straight person. You probably don’t even know who the following people are:

  • Matthew Shepard,
  • Anji Dimitriou and Jane Currie,
  • FannyAnn Eddy
  • Brandon Teena,
  • Sakia Gunn,
  • Lawrence “Larry” King,
  • Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Masooa,
  • Lateisha Green,
  • and more.

So, yeah, I understand why you wouldn’t want to be labelled gay. Just the few names above can tell you had dangerous it is to be gay. The LGBTQA community are still fighting for our rights worldwide, especially the right to live without fear. So how about you spend your energy on that fight, rather than distancing yourself from it by reminding everyone just how straight you are when you post photos of you kissing someone of the same sex? There are people who have and would die to be able to just kiss their partner in public, let alone post photos of it.

I am mad. I’m on fire. I burn every time I think about the people who have died fighting for my rights as a lesbian in 2016. I am outraged that people who identify as straight can be so flippant about something that gay people (or assumed gay people) die for. I have to wonder if you don’t understand that the thing you said ‘no homo’ too could be a death sentence in some places.

These are our lives you are playing with, so I won’t sit down and shut up. What you posted was offensive to me. You don’t have to agree and you probably won’t even read this post, but I hope that you do read it and I hope you realize why what you said was not okay.

No Hetero

Until next time, folks.


One thought on “‘No Homo’-phobia

  1. Pingback: Pride isn’t just a Party – All is Fair in Love and Writing

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