Have you seen this online project called No Homophobes? It's a piece of software that tallies the usage of Faggot, Dyke, No Homo and So Gay on Twitter:
It also reports a live feed of the tweets just below the tally. (So there's me on the left seconds after posting a tweet that contained the words "No Homo")
If you can't be bothered to read this blog post (basically it looks into the homophobic phrase "No Homo" ) then there's a brilliant video embedded at the end, so make sure to scroll down to that before you head off.
Many of the tweets clocked by the No Homophobes robot are actually posted by gay teenagers on Twitter who have re-possessed (perhaps consciously, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps somewhere inbetween) the pieces of homophobic phraseology in question.
Evidently quite a few lesbians use the word dyke and are happy with using it. (London has a lesbian group on the website Meet-Up called Dykes On Bikes). Meanwhile "so gay" is used in conversation by tonnes of gay people and for all manner of purposes. (There's even a gay opinion website called So So Gay )
I'm culpable of it too. My friends throw "so gay" around my lounge like a packet of menthol cigarettes. More recently I've adopted the Level 2 version of "so gay" which is "supagay" (Level 3 is "Megagay", Level 4 is "Ubergay", Level 5 is "Gayocity", Nintendo are brining Level 6 out in February)
I'm going to write a blog post about faggot (don't click) at some stage in the future, but for now let's focus on this:
NO HOMO:The fourth phrase tracked by the No Homophobe project No Homo is the one that interested me most because I'd never come across the phrase No Homo, so I gave it a Google. Turns out the phrase No Homo is "a slang term that parenthetically asserts that the speaker does not have any homosexual intent, usually given after an utterance that may have led to that impression"
For example a straight boy might say to his male friend who has just got changed for a night out "You're looking hot, no homo", or a straight boy might say "Ronaldo is a fucking God! No homo."
It's more of an American thing and its origins lie in the early 1990s rap scene. (Which doesn't surprise me because rappers and urban musical artists are the biggest bunch of high-fashion show-stopping closet cases after the football industry. They love to wax lyrical about how un-gay they are in order to keep selling records to a mainstream fanbase. But believe me, behind those baggy trousers and advertising contract baseball caps are talented gay musicians who are sadly prelonging the pain of the closet and pushing hatred onto their juniors purely for their own pecuniary advance. But you knew that already).
The phrase No Homo is an interesting one because is it:
A) Homophobia repackaged? Suggestive of a belief that being gay is horrible and undesirable
B) Lightly affectionate? As if to say "I don't mind gay people man, it's just I'm not one of them so don't come kissing me boy"
C) A closet-case confession? A way of following up a vaguely homoerotic statement with a verbal indicator towards homosexuality - consequently making the phrase a gay one and bringing a homosexual oppurtunity into the mind.
D) Just catchy? Rhythmic and easy to rhyme with things so has become a popular mouth-hold for the less imaginative lyricist. "No-Ho-Mo", it's a catchy repetitive vowel sound etc.
Even though it's an American phrase, the boys of my glorious middle-class upbringing in rural England had effective counterparts to No Homo, such as "Mate, I'm not gay but..", and "I would be gay for him" (said as a joke to connote hero worship or admiration, albeit a thinly disiguised Freudian feast)
Then I found this FANTASTIC parody song on YouTube called "No Homo" by the The Lonely Island. It basically de-mystifies and rips the shit out of the phrase No Homo. The lyrics become increasingly homosexual throughout the song and each line is followed with the chant of "No Homo". I found it very amusing and think you'll like it too:
You've been reading Jack of Hearts, the personal blog of Jack Cullen. On Twitter: @jackcullenuk