What is Bromance?

Brooomance, nothing really gay about it.

Not, that there’s anything wrong with being gay

Bromance, shouldn’t be ashamed or hide it

I love you in the most heterosexual way

Bromance (Ryan Higa, Chester See 2012)

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I see the word bromance? This song. Released by popular Youtuber at that time Ryan Higa (otherwise known by his Youtuber profile nigahiga) and Chester See in 2012, this song was an instant hit that garnered over a million views on Youtube.

Bromance can be understood as the compounding of the words “brothers” and “romance” and can be understood as a relationship between straight men that exceeds the normative level of intimacy. This suggests that there is a deeper level to this relationship not simply in the physical sense that could be seen through more open forms of contact and affection such as hugging or saying, “I love you”, but also in the intimate sharing of feelings, emotion and struggle with each other, that seems to be something that the heteronormative males seem to shy away from.

In this song, Higa presents bromance as something that is totally acceptable and normal between men.

However, it is interesting that in the last line, and one of the most memorable lines of the chorus and the whole song, there is a specification in saying ‘I love you, in the most heterosexual way,’ suggesting that there is still a need to clarify that the loving of the person in this bromance is only in a heterosexual way. Perhaps this acts as a marker to society of their identity as heterosexual, even though they are able to, and do love another male intimately. Additionally, this addition of ‘in the most heterosexual way’ could also act as a precaution against the potential stigma his other male friends would have if they wrongly assume that he has more than friendly feelings towards them.

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