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No homo, but Twitter agrees that “No homo” is ridiculous

Man wagging finger

You’ve heard it before. “I love you, man. No homo.”

Or, “I just bought my Bros ticket. No homo.”

Or, “Dude, your glutes are massive. No homo.”

Yes, straight men—especially those insecure in their sexuality—tend to use “no homo” as punctuation, as one Urban Dictionary definition points out: “A term used by many men after every sentence so everyone knows they’re straight”

Other tongue-in-cheek Urban Dictionary definitions suggest that men who utter “no homo” tend to do some pretty homo things. “‘No homo’ is the magic phrase men utter when undertaking task[s] that are gay, so that they may ward it off,” one reads. “When a man sucks his homie’s d*ck, he must always say no homo, or both will become third level mega gay.”

Related: Guys describe the “stupidest” things they’ve done to seem straight

Slate covered the origin of the term in 2009, after Kanye West dropped a “no homo” in a featured verse on the Jay-Z track “Run This Town.” (And this was the same Kanye West who lamented in a 2005 MTV interview that “everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people.”)

As Slate’s Jonah Weiner reported, “no homo” originated in East Harlem slang in the 1990s before early-2000s tracks by rappers like Cam’ron and Lil Wayne popularized the phrase.

Weiner, however, theorized that the no-homo phenomenon in rap music was “helping to make hip-hop a gayer place” in that it “allows, implicitly, that rap is a place where gayness can in fact be expressed by the guy on the mic, not just scorned in others.”

And in a 2014 essay for The Guardian, Carmen Cruz opined that while a straight man using “no homo” as a disclaimer is “inherently homophobic and heterosexist,” it’s also a sign that that same man is “expressing himself emotionally, which boys and men are generally taught not to do.”

The phrase has also become the subject of academic discourse. In research published in the journal Sex Roles in 2019, for example, C.J. Pascoe of the University of Oregon and Sara Diefendorf of the University of Washington suggested that the phrase “no homo” is “a gendered epithet that conveys cultural norms about masculinity … primarily used by men to facilitate a particularly masculinized construction of positive emotional expression.”

Meanwhile, on Twitter, folks just seem incredulous that people are still using “no homo.” (Just pay compliments to your male friends without qualifications! And if you wanna do gay things, do gay things!) And some people, like rapper Joey Badass, are speaking out as reformed no-homo-ers. Here are some choice tweets on the topic.

Related: Are straight people OK? 17 Twitter users baffled by their behavior

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