?Ay Vienen Los Gays!
An open letter to Al Carlos
Long Drive South
Hey Al! I just read your piece on LatinoLA.com about how esos fregones los jotitos ("Out of the Closet" at http://latinola.com/story.php?story=1630) are all trying to take over mass media and get married and shit. Wack!
Published on LatinoLA: March 10, 2004
Once upon a time I used to think like you, or, I THOUGHT I used to think like you. Anywayzzz, in trying to figure out a way to explain to you how backward, bigoted and almost unbelievably ignorant you are, I came upon an old column tagline you wrote about how you wear black Chucks, and I looked down at my feet here and it hit me: Omigod! I'M wearing old school black Chuck Taylor sneakers, like, right now!!!
Then I read your column tagline and noticed, hey!, I also have a cat that every now and then leaves me, I also used to play left field (in little league, I'll admit), and I'm also an "accomplished bicycle rider," and I'm also cool with people calling me "Homes" because some people always have.
Me and you, Al, we're so alike. Like, I also hate discrimination and racism. And I'm so glad you started writing about that nasty topic after so many wonderfully political and progressive columns on topics such as not being able to help laughing when
people trip and how bowling is not a sport. (Thanks for the laughs, Al!) But I'll let you in on something. Even though we're sooo alike, I happen to enjoy the company of men as frequently and as passionately as I used to enjoy the company of women.
How ironic, I thought. Here I am, a Latino who hates racism and discrimination just like Al, and who likes shoes that Al likes, but I'm gay, and according to Al, I'm baaaddd news for Latinos. I might even be worse for Chicanos, although I'm down with Che, Aztec dancing, Los Lobos, taco trucks, Dolores Huerta, and Whittier Boulevard.
There's potential for therapist-ready confusion here. But there isn't. See, I'm used to facing discrimination, hate, and ignorance, like yours, because I'm brown and my parents are immigrants. Bring it on, cabron, is the way I see it. Mi pop taught me how to box, with words or with fists, and my instincts taught me to love myself and my men (or "homies," if you must) with the same reverence I love all mujeres and especially mi mami.
Where does that leave us, Al? I don't know for sure. All I know is that next time you're at a carne asada with the extended familia, or kickin' it wit the homies at la liquoreria en la esquina, there's little need to feel alarmed or threatened by the possibility that the homeboy or primo next to you is both Latino (and thus hates discrimination and racism) and gay (and thus is threatening to Latinos trying to fight discrimination and racism in Hollywood, as you've got all figured out).