Irish Comedian Oliver Callan Can’t Be Homophobic Because He’s Gay!

Irish comedian Oliver Callan came out this weekend on Ireland’s Satruday Night Show partly to address accusations of homophobia for presenting a sketch in which he portrayed Irish footballer Paul Gavin as a suspiciously gay fashion enthusiast who carries manbags and wears ridiculously low neck lines. A columnist called the sketch homophobic and Callan responded on TV by saying, “Let’s get the record straight. I’m not a homophobe because I’m gay.”

Too bad he’s wrong.

The 30-year-old comedian isn’t wrong about being gay—we assume he knows that better than anyone. He’s wrong about gayness being a free pass for homophobia. Gays can totally be homophobic. Does the name Roy Cohn ring a bell?

Granted, Callan is no Cohn. But lampooning a public figure often treads the fine lines between humor, mockery and shame. Comedians use jokes to mock public figures all the time. The real question is when does a mincing depiction of a straight public figure devolve into homophobia?

Callan said:

“I mean is it so horrendous to him that people might speculate wrongly that [Galvin] is gay just for wearing manbags? Paul Galvin claims he felt it was excruciatingly difficult to watch me poke fun at his fashion sense and him throwing shapes around Manhattan with a T-shirt that had a neckline down to his nipples. Straight men should not be insulted to be sent up like a gay.”

So it seems possible that others interpreted Callan’s mockery of fashion as a mockery of homosexuality. Perhaps this is, as Tracy Morgan said, all a big misunderstanding.

Bit while we congratulate Mr. Callan for finally arriving on the other side of the closet, it’s a mistake to think that gay people can’t be homophobes or bullies when it comes to calling other peoples gay (think Perez Hilton calling Will.I.Am a “faggot”).

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  • Gigi

    For once I agree with you Qweerty!

  • GOD (gay old dude)

    You gotta be kidding me. Are we really nitpicking this guy because of his comedy routines? Have we become that prickly?

    The answer is yes, in the name of humor we can make fun of ourselves, and others can make fun of us as well. Christ, lighten up—it’s called comedy, people.

  • doug105

    Plenty of homophobic gays right here in the U.S. they’re called Republicans.There have been few times i personally found a show funny only to hear Gladd get in a huff about it like say In Living Color.

  • soakman

    I don’t think gays get a freepass, but comedians probably do. If you don’t like their stand-up don’t buy their tickets.

    Additionally, I don’t think GLBT can be homophobic. It sounds like, if anything, they guy is a flamboyant-phobe. Which is something different but related. Chances are he doesn’t make fun of gay people; rather, he makes fun of men whose behaviors don’t conform to the gender norm. You don’t have to be a homophobe to hate on the tomboys and sissy’s.

    Which is just as bad. I don’t agree with bullying of any sort, but I think gender nonconformity is a related but very different issues than gay sexuality ‘ick-factor/gay panic defense.’

  • Al

    There’s a difference between being homophobic and self-loathing. Queerty needs to learn the difference.

  • MKe

    Eh. Kind of giving him a hard time about it? I dunno I didn’t see the clip that was apparently homophobic.

  • jason

    Being Irish and being funny is a contradiction in terms.

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