By CJ Guion/Staff Writer

The phrase “mo homo” has been around for a couple of years and is used as a way for a “straight” guy to make questionable comments that others might take the wrong way. While I personally don’t see anything wrong with the use of the term in some cases, I think that the word is overly used. Even if it’s in joking way, sometimes it sounds as if some people are paying way too much attention to making sure that in any way, shape, or form, to the point that it starts to be questioned, on whether they are really just playing or if they might actually be homosexual themselves.

While the term has supposedly been around since the early 1990s in East Harlem, the word didn’t truly take off until it was used by Cam’ron and the Diplomats in 2000. It has since been used in songs by Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. Not that I’m taking a shot at Cam’ron, but he has been an advocate of “passing” items in the hip hop community such as “no homo” and the color pink in hopes that the world will see it as a masculine thing. Lil Wayne openly admits to kissing a man (who is not his father) on the lips who he calls daddy.  Rap stars parade around in videos with their shirt off when they know their main fan-base are males. Hip Hop stars have been well known to lie about what they really do in their songs for a very long time. While they claim to be goons and thugs in their music, they’re really soft behind the scenes when they go home. You don’t really know what rap stars do in their own time and place, so why is it that we are so quick to take on every single word or style that they say is the thing of the moment. You shouldn’t have to continuously reinforce the fact that you’re straight. It seems sometimes like you might be unsure as to whether you are or not.
The main issue that I see is the usage of the word for every little thing. For example, somebody may say “hey man, I like those shoes, no homo.”  If you are really as straight as you say that you are, why should you constantly have to prove to world that you are or that you’re not? If you’re secure enough in your masculinity it really shouldn’t matter what anyone thinks. What is gay about liking some one’s shoes? What is wrong with sitting beside another man on the bus unless you’d rather be that shallow and let an empty seat go to waste? You know that you are straight, so why must you keep second guessing yourself almost. If you are completely straight there is no chance that anyone would have a chance in hell of turning you gay. However, due to the dominant cultural hegemonic theory in the black community that being uncaring, emotionless, and tough equals what it means to be a real man, anything less is viewed as feminine. Femininity and homosexuality are usually viewed as one and the same. Thus males have to make sure that all steps are taken to make sure that no one views them as anything less than a man. However, you are going around saying words that you have little knowledge of just because a celebrity said it was cool. Celebrities are people just like we are, so why should you let them dictate what’s hot and what’s not?  Hip Hop is just as homoerotic as it is homophobic. “No homo” almost makes it acceptable to infuse additional homoeroticism into the culture. What you’re almost really doing is opening up the door for a guy to openly hit on you just as long as he says
“no homo.” However, because you have it set in your mind that if he’s not the stereotypical feminine guy he can’t be gay, which leads to an entirely different subject.

In closing, I think that the phrase “no homo” is very unnecessary because you shouldn’t have to pay that much attention to the notion that what you say might be taken as gay. Also, you never know who you may truly offending. Six people have committed suicide in the last month due to harassment about homosexuality. The truth of the matter is that you more than likely have a friend or family member that’s gay, even if you know it or not. In the process of offending others, you are making people wonder about you. It’s when you add those two words, that a person might begin to take a step back and wonder what was the point. Just be really careful with what you say and how you decide to say it.