'Bromance' And Other Homophobic And Transphobic Phrases To Stop Using ASAP

by Amber Leventry
Originally Published: 
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Sometimes we use words or phrases without fully understanding their meanings or the impact it may have on others. Maybe it’s because I am a writer, but I tend to be thoughtful with my words. But really, I am a decent human being and try to use words that don’t alienate, offend, or discriminate against others. And if someone tells me they feel excluded or hurt by my words, I listen. I learn. I adjust. Even if I disagree, my place is to provide respect and space for meaningful conversations.

As a queer person who hears and sees many derogatory words directed at people like me, I would like to do my part and educate you on things you likely say every day that are homophobic or transphobic. You may not use these phrases very often, but you have likely said them and will likely say them again. But for the love of LGBTQ+ people everywhere, knock it off.


Let’s unpack this one first. People, specifically those who abuse their right to use the comment section, are very bold on the Internet. If someone dares to disagree with their opinions, beliefs, or blissful ignorance, they are quick to advise that someone to stop being so “butthurt” about said disagreement.

Butthurt stems from the act of an adult spanking a child on the butt as a form of punishment. It hurts. It is a form of control and fear. It also conjures up the idea of anal sex and anal rape. To use the word butthurt as a way to mock someone who is whining is also mocking anal rape, a very real risk for queer men and transgender women. Rape is not funny or clever. And if not knowingly mocking anal rape, the person using butthurt for all of their comebacks is also degrading consensual anal sex between two people, most likely gay men. There is nothing wrong with a dude taking it in the ass or admitting that it feels good.

When you use the word butthurt, you look like a homophobic asshat who is justifying domination, intimidation, and rape.


We need to stop using cocksucker as an insult. We need to stop equating abuse with pleasure. And we need to stop comparing despicable people with a loving act often enjoyed between two men. I have yet to hear a cisgender straight man complain about a woman sucking cock. Yet men are quick to call other men cocksuckers like it’s a bad thing. Women are guilty of this too. The insult is rooted in homophobia, as if the act of one man sucking another man’s penis is something awful and as if the man sucking said penis is deserving of negativity and degradation.

No Homo

For some reason, it is still an awful thing to be gay, so men and women qualify compliments or potentially homosexual double-entendres to people of the same gender by adding “no homo” to their statements. The goal is to make sure everyone knows you are not homosexual.

Here are a couple of examples between men:

“Hey, you look great, man. You been working out? No homo.”

“No homo, Matt, but your girlfriend is one lucky chick to have you.”

And between women:

“OMFG, Jill, your ass looks great in those jeans. But no homo!”

“Ooooo! I like how our boobs touched when we hugged in no homo kind of way.”

We get it. You are insecure about your sexuality and don’t want to be confused to be anything but 1,000% straight. Congratulations. And thanks for making queer people feel less than and like shit. But well done clarifying your innocent comments and turning a compliment into an insult for the entire LGBTQ community.


You added too many letters. Transgendered is not a word. Nor is someone a transgender. The word is not a noun or verb, it is an adjective. Someone who was assigned one gender at birth and then identifies as another is transgender. Gender identity is between the ears. Gender assignment/sex is between the legs. When the two labels do not match, a person may choose to transition socially, medically, and/or surgically to outwardly represent the gender they know to be their true self. This also leads into more phrases that are dated and should not be used. He was born a boy or he became a girl are not accurate for most transgender or gender fluid folks.

People are assigned gender at birth based on their genitalia. But we really don’t know for sure if they are a boy, girl, both, or neither until that person tells us. Whether a person chooses to transition or change pronouns, they have likely always felt like the person they are telling you they are. They haven’t changed, but your perspective needs to. If you need to refer to someone’s transition, please qualify it this way: “Jane is a transgender woman. She was assigned male at birth. 10 years ago, she found the strength to live her life as the badass woman she is.”

Girl Crush, Man Crush, Bromance

These words and their sentiment may seem like the most non-offensive out of the bunch. People use these terms all of the time, specifically straight people. Women gush over other women they adore or want to emulate; they will tell you all about their girl crushes, but are they really crushes? No, they are not. Men try to play it cool when they like another dude’s style or energy. They joke about having a man crush or bromance with a best bud. It’s sweet to see men openly show affection. All innocent, right?

Yes. However, both of these situations carry privilege and safety. While it is easy for one cisgender straight dude to talk about how much he loves his bestie, the same security is not granted for a transgender dude or a cisgender gay dude. The assumption in bromances is that it is not gay, so it is okay, even applauded. Meanwhile, there are actual romances happening between two men that are targets of hate and violence.

And sadly, the idea of two women crushing on each other just perpetuates the sexualizing of lesbians for the pleasure of straight men. Real love between two women is so much more than sex and the porn that is far from actual vagina on vagina sex—sorry, but not sorry to burst your bubble fellas.

Straighties laughing off their homo but no homo crushes is not funny. Queer love is not a joke. Don’t turn it into one.

So, bottom line: just stop using the above phrases. They make you sound like an insensitive, ignorant, homophobic, and transphobic bigot. Good talk.

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