I was hanging out with my brother the other day. He teaches high school and had just gone to a school sponsored seminar on anti-gay bullying. I asked him what they had talked about and he said, "A lot of stuff about school board policies and kids saying things like, that's so gay."
Like my brother, I have encountered a lot of kids who say that's so gay to indicate that something is stupid or girly.
Unfortunately, I think there is also another phrase that needs to be addressed.
I really only first heard someone say no homo recently. It was, in of all places, one of my colleges classes! A student was telling a story about a basketball game and made some references to taking another player's ball.
He quickly added a: no homo, before continuing his train of thought. He didn't get very far before the other students jumped all over his choice of words. (That's one nice thing about college classes...)
So what's the deal with this term? The most popular UrbanDictonary.com definition is:
"A phrase used after one inadvertently says something that sounds gay...[eg:] Paul and I had each other's back all the time, no homo."
It is just so amazing to me that a guy would be so afraid of associating himself with anything that could cast a shadow of doubt on his sexuality, that he would qualify the most innocuous phases with a disclaimer.
Aside from the obvious homophobia implicit in a no homo, the main thing that phrase says to me is that the person using it is so ill at ease with himself and his place in the world, that he needs to constantly prove his heterosexuality.
When I told my brother that in addition to the phrase, that's so gay, I had been hearing, no homo, he said, "Whoa, that one hasn't made it to my school yet."
Let's hope it stays that way.