It’s 2024, why are feuding men still resorting to accusing each other of being gay?

Whatever the dispute, adult men in the public eye continuously opt to weaponise sexuality to point score over their adversaries. It's embarrassing. 


2024 was ushered in by an explosive appearance by comedian Katt Williams on former NFL player Shannon Sharpe’s YouTube talkshow Club Shay Shay. In 2 hour 48 minute epic which was now been viewed over 68 million times, Katt Williams aired out grievances with the Black comedy scene, Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large. The conversation was hugely entertaining because Katt Williams is genuinely hilarious. He is a skilled story teller, master of delivery and uses body language to animate his jokes expertly. Maybe the overall joviality of proceedings is what made one segue so poignant. Katt talked about convincing executives to cut a scene in Friday After Next where his character was to be raped by Terry Crews’. With sensitivity and intelligence Katt unpacked how problematic it was, that an enormous domineering Terry Crews raping a diminutive defenceless smaller man, would ever be considered a funny spectacle. That is what made his later jokes and insinuations that several celebrities were granted their careers in exchange for granting sexual favours to P Diddy disappointing. 

At the time of writing Sean Combs (P Diddy) is facing a series of allegations accusing him of sex trafficking, sexual abuse and rape. His homes have been raided and there has been speculation about his whereabouts. In November last year, Combs also settled out of court after his former partner Cassie accused him of trafficking, raping and beating her throughout their relationship. But it was the revelation that one of his accusers is male, which seems to have accelerated interest in the saga. If as Katt Williams says, Combs has spent years sexually exploiting up and coming talent, they are victims of abuse. We should ask ourselves why we feel comfortable making them the objects of ridicule. Katt joking that his only career goal was to fulfil his career with his anal virginity intact trivialises something quite serious. I understand fully that comics say things they don’t necessarily believe for a laugh. The trouble is: he literally started the interview maligning white executives for doing the same thing.

Any fleeting association with Sean Combs being proof of closet homosexuality, is a theme that various internet circles have been running with. During the buildup to his fight with Devin Haney, boxer Ryan Garcia shared a photo of Haney and Combs at a pool party with the caption “Devin and Sean Combs sitting in a tree”. Haney responded by posting a photo of Garcia being lifted up suggestively by a coach in celebration. When rumours circled that one of Combs’ victims hailed from Philadelphia Meek Mill’s name entered discussion. The Philly native responded by unleashing a series of tweets declaring his love for vaginas which would have genuinely made Ted Bundy uncomfortable.

In the sports world, boxer Liam Smith spent his pre-fight build up with Chris Eubank Jr. goading him by suggesting his lack of a public female partner and grooming regimen was proof of him being in the closet. To his credit Eubank responded with the dignified contempt the line of questioning deserved and wore a pride armband during their subsequent face-to-face. At a point, I wonder what the reaction would be if someone on the receiving end of these jibes actually did say “actually, yes I am gay”. Would the aggressor double down and enter a homophobic tirade? Its absolving to put things down to “just being a joke”. We all do it. I do it. I laugh at and make jokes that if unpacked, ultimately rely on bigotry. This article is reflective as much as anything else. Men (myself included) need to be honest with ourselves and do better. All jokes rely on fundamental precedents that we collectively understand. Ultimately, these quips only make sense if the accepted precedent is that it is wrong to be gay.

This is a theme that has been rife throughout Drake’s recent rap beef with Kendrick Lamar. Without rehashing the ins-and-outs of these two multi-millionaires qualms with each other, what has been consistent throughout, has been both rappers accusing each other (and each others allies) of being gay, or at least proximal to queer culture. On Family Matters Drake raps “Weeknd music being played in all the spots where niggas got a little more Pride”, on euphoria Kendrick raps “I believe you don't like women, it's real competition, you might pop ass with ‘em”, on meet the grahams he raps “Grew facial hair because he understood bein' a beard just fit him better” (a beard is a colloquialism for a gay celebrities’ fake public heterosexual partner). Rap battles are character assassinations with drum beats, meaning anything that is included is meant to insult. The depths of this particular one are somewhat ugly, with other accusations including domestic violence, paedophilia, sex trafficking, exploitation of Blackness, absentee parenting, abandonment issues and addiction. Situating homosexuality amidst these is insane. 

People who genuinely viscerally hate queer people are not going to care about this article or its arguments. But for the rest of us who may just be complacent about how normalised homophobia is in our discourse, this is an opportunity to unpack our cultural norms. I hope we can do that.

Article by Martyn Ewoma


You may also like...

Today marks the largest unionised strike of nurses in British history, we did the un-thinkable for a mainstream media outlet...and asked a nurse their opinion

Wanna keep up to date with all things Sludge Mag? Sign up with your email address to receive updates on new articles, petitions and events.
Thank you!
Something went wrong. Please try again.
Using Format