Anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluwole felt the need to assure everyone he’s ‘not gay’ before singing a song from Empire
British political activist Femi Oluwole faced backlash Tuesday morning after singing a song with the lyrics “I’m gay” and then noting that: “For the record, I’m not gay.”
Oluwole, 30, uploaded a video to Twitter of himself singing along to “So What” from the American television show Empire as he biked down a leafy road.
He was responding to his own tweet where he praised Empire for its handling of homophobia aimed towards Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett).
The anti-Brexit campaigner prefaced the video to clarify, “For the record, I’m not gay”, a comment which prompted comments from some LGBT+ users, who criticised him for feeling the apparent need to do so.
For the record, I'm not gay, I just watched the #Empire episode yesterday and can't stop singing it because I've never seen a more brutal and yet musically beautiful destruction of a bigotry in my life.
(And I'm confident enough in my sexuality to put this on the internet.?) pic.twitter.com/3BtQk1nTRP
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) May 4, 2020
He later told PinkNews: “In the video, I sang ‘I’m gay’. So in the description, I clarified ‘I’m not gay’.
“That’s literally the most logical way of making that clarification.”
Femi Oluwole faces criticism for ‘coming out’ as ‘not gay’.
The song, performed on the show by Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) in the season one finale, starts with the lyric: “So what, I’m gay, it don’t matter.”
Oluwole filmed himself belting the song while on his bike, captioning the footage: “For the record, I’m not gay.
“I just watched the Empire episode yesterday and can’t stop singing it because I’ve never seen a more brutal and yet musically beautiful destruction of a bigotry in my life.
“(And I’m confident enough in my sexuality to put this on the internet.)”
The footage received some retaliation on social media, with some users perplexed by Oluwole “coming out” as “not gay”.
Femi. The problem is that you have focused on NOT being gay rather than saying I AM straight.
Maybe you just can’t help but live in a world spouting negativity rather than positivity.
— Is it just me…? (@Isitjus94846251) May 5, 2020
— Eurobeat not Eurocommunism (@socialistbangrs) May 6, 2020
People that matter will obvs know you’re singing a song but stating “I’m not gay” is similar to sayin “no homo” when someone is slightly intimate with a same-sex friend, “no homo” is widely accepted as homophobic. I’m sure you meant nothing by it, mate, just learn from it, dude
— ?️? Oliver Bagshaw ?️? (@OliverBagshaw) May 6, 2020
The fact you need to say "I'm not gay" means you aren't comfortable in your #sexuality at all. What it tells everyone is that you conform to stereotypes and have indulged in rather cliched bigotry because you don't want to be confused for being #gay. This tweet is shameful #LGBT https://t.co/YM6evyoYxs
— Peter C. Barnes (@Barnesy19) May 5, 2020
When you come out of the straight closet. https://t.co/uITgcbJgNG
— Nick (@MoaVideos) May 6, 2020
Other users defended him singing the song and clarifying his sexuality, saying it was a: “A strong chant for equality, whatever the cause.”
It’s a strong chant for equality, whatever the cause.
— Christopher Henry (@Christo75118472) May 5, 2020
Oluwole later elaborated in a follow-up tweet why he prefaced the footage. “To those suggesting that I shouldn’t say ‘I’m not gay’,” he wrote Tuesday morning.
And once again, I make a post specifically attacking homophobia and supporting gay rights and it's brought out a really toxic attitude among a few, just like the example below. https://t.co/GpdF7A2BmG
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) May 6, 2020
“I’m young and single,” he explained, “and plan to change the latter before the former, and yet, I just sang ‘I’m gay’ in front of a quarter of a million people online.
“Can you guess why it might be in my interest to clarify that?”
He added in a further tweet: “And once again, I make a post specifically attacking homophobia and supporting gay rights and it’s brought out a really toxic attitude among a few, just like the example below.”