Ella Purnell as Lucy in a scene from Amazon's 'Fallout' series. She is a young white woman with long dark hair and long bangs parted down the middle. She's wearing a blue 'Fallout' vault suit and sitting in a room with computer consoles behind her. She has a confused expression on her face.
(Prime Video)

A New Meme Is Exposing Absurd Levels of Homophobia

TikTok sometimes has memes that seemingly come out of nowhere. They’ll just be in every video as you are scrolling on your FYP, yet you can’t seem to find an explanation of what is going on. That’s what is happening with the “English or Spanish” meme.

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Sometimes, you just look at the internet and wonder what is going on, which is what I did. I saw a video of a guy getting his ear pierced, but he stops the piercer by saying, “English or Spanish,” and runs away. The piercer is now standing frozen in place, a single tear running down his face, but he cannot move at all.


ENGLISH OR SPANISH! Now you gottta stay here forever ? (camerawomen @★ and dad @Toonz tattoos) #piercings #booktok #obsessed #fathersonduo

♬ original sound – quix ;) – quix ;)

I saw this completely out of context and was baffled by what was happening because I didn’t know what it meant. Then I figured it out. @alfonsopinpon_ made a platform on TikTok going up to people in the mall and asking them “Do you speak English or Spanish?” when they answer, he says (in either language), “Whoever moves first is gay.”

The videos typically have guys standing as still as physically possible, refusing to move. It shows the deep homophobia that still exists in this world that the simple idea of being perceived as gay is enough to have (typically) straight men instantly freeze and refuse to move.

Some guys in the videos will literally stare straight ahead and not even blink when the women with them kind of roll their eyes and move around. It is funny that men standing with their girlfriends or wives are that pressed about it, because they literally freeze in place. If you told me that Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past was running around them in slow-motion, I’d believe you! They’re literally just stopped in the middle of the mall.

So if you simply hear a TikTok say “English or Spanish” with someone freezing, you now know why it is happening.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.