Gay Latino Macho Short Angry Weird Goth

23 Sep

glatino

Her son, she said, would be a man, not a maricón, a derogatory term used to describe gay Latino men or any man who is effeminate. – Gay Latino Macho

I was trying to describe to a writer friend of mine why the misogyny in Juno Diaz’s work was so vital to the story; trying to communicate the impact of a of seeing a scoundrel character like Yunior depicted so well.

This gay latino macho article helped gather some thoughts. To talk about machismo culture in Spanish circles is to talk about something separate from American chauvinism, misogyny, and rape culture (but not altogether divorced of those  things). For Latino people “machismo” is a guidepost for life and a community effort. There’s nothing subtle about it and nothing is implied. The rules of being macho are passed down clearly and they are enforced by women, men, and children. To fight machismo is to fight your nature, and leaving it is like abandoning your religion.

I was lucky enough to be raised by a family that didn’t believe in it, but I saw machismo at work when I went to visit a friend’s house. I witnessed mothers and fathers cajoling their sons into behaving like men and of upholding manhood. It was a visceral shock, and the shame my friends felt when I witnessed it was the same shame I felt when they learned how poor I was.

I think that part of what fuels machismo is a fear of Western culture and old country nationalism. The irony is that old world machismo intermingles very easily with Western conservative belief about the pussification of America. It is possible that machismo informed those opinions as well (though I can’t be sure of that).

It’s a scary thing to be Latino and not be macho because it is like consciously separating from your race. This is what it felt like for me at the time, that is until weird angry Latinos started to make themselves known. I had goth friends and friends who didn’t listen to the right music. We never talked about race or raza because we understood that we existed outside of it.

Nowadays I’m sure that machismo was never a part of my ethnicity, and that no one will miss it when it’s gone.

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