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”).