Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-08
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Homo Say WHAT!?
Paletero! Paletero!
by Tony Alvarado-Rivera

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

En la vida, hay momentos que digo, I am so-so glad to be me. There were also moments in my past, which I was so angry at being me. I was mad that I wasn't good at all the other stuff boys my age were good at. Instead of playing wrestling at the age of 10, I was busy taping my favorite songs off of Oldies 104.3.

Whenever el paletero came along, I was never asked which flavor paleta I wanted. No. No one cared that my favorite was and still is mango. Instead, they gave me the pink one because yo era rosita. I was pink. Now of course, I have no problems being pink. In fact, I welcome the opportunity of bending gender norms and breaking gender stereotypes. My past could very well be the reason I was always so funky back in school. I would bust out my 4-inch platform shoes, press on some polyester, and twinkle my eyes with a little red eyeliner—back when I was going through my 'I'm a druggie' look. ( I know, I was a mess, I'm the first to admit it. ) I would always have a cutest man bag, i.e. purse, to match my ensemble. Still to this day I don't know how I survived in the hood! The first time I ever did drag was during a summer retreat for future teachers.

The event wasn't made to mock the trans community, but it certainly didn't celebrate it either. I wasn't going to participate, but as the resident 'I'm here and I'm Queer' person, at the last minute I decided to give it a go. In two seconds I was out on Belmont shopping for a wig, a dress, and a pair of nylons. My look ... was a little retro and very neon green. The crowd went wild.

The next year, I tore up some material and made my very own Union Jack dress ala Geri Halliwell Brit Awards. It was then that my fancy for glamour was born. At shoe stores, I almost always find the cutest and cheapest stuff in the 'women's' section. I head down to thrift stores and buy bracelets and costume jewelry bigger than my dreams.

When my mom saw my nuevo look, she flipped and told me I was way too gay. Over my shoulder I carry the old-school plastic Mexican mercado bags and head to Dominick's with no reluctance.

If I could pull off the Frida Pre-Columbian look, you know I would have a changito on my back.

After my fancy for things classified for the 'opposite sex' continued, I had the chance to do a play in which my character has a one-minute costume change from corduroys into a black thigh-high dress. At first I was kind of reluctant because I didn't want to make a fool out of myself, but once I slipped on those heels over my nylons and took one look at my legs, I knew this experience was divine. Being in that dress, even though it was a character, was so exhilarating. It allowed this alter ego to come out and play. A person inside was dying to come out.

I was always afraid of letting that person out because I was supposed to be macho. And me being gay does not mean that I want to identify as a woman, but I for sure want to use my title to go all out and experience the joy of being a queer person.

In a culture driven by machismo and 'tradition,' there's so much to lose by being effeminate. I say, forget that ... make your own rules and learn to have fun with yourself. Let's rid ourselves of this 'sissyphobia' and learn to explore our genders a little more. Instead of looking down at las vestidas or las transvestites, make the connection that they gave us the freedom of being who we are.

Trans folk started the revolution, and now we dare look down on them? Sylvia Rivera, and others who have since passed, allow us to be free. Take her legend and learn to examine your gender and your roles.

Latino Gay men are far too often categorized into el hombre y la mujer. Break the mold, check a new box ... just learn to be yourself and then you will see how the world is so much more once you set your mind, body, and soul free! So come on comadritas, here comes the paletero ... I dare you to take a good lick of that pink paleta. ( wink-wink ) .

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

NBJC on transgender deaths, "How Can We Celebrate Pride If We Keep Dying?" 2019-05-21 - WASHINGTON — This past weekend, Muhlaysia Booker, a young Black Transgender woman, was found murdered in Dallas, Texas. In April of this year, ...

Gay News

Legislation to ensure restroom access passes Illinois House 2019-05-21 - Legislation to modernize Illinois law to ensure single-occupancy restroom facilities are designated as gender neutral passed the Illinois House of Representatives Tuesday, said ...

Gay News

Youth group hosts gender-expansive services symposium 2019-05-17 - Illinois Collaboration on Youth ( ICOY ) held a day-long gender expansive services symposium May 13 at the Chicago Teachers Union. The day ...

Gay News

Chelsea Manning back in jail 2019-05-16 - On May 16, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Chelsea Manning back to jail after the transgender former U.S. Army intelligence analyst ...

Gay News

IDOC trans healthcare court case continues 2019-05-14 - Litigation continues in a federal lawsuit filed by five transgender Illinois prisoners who say that their healthcare is inadequate with Illinois Department of ...

Gay News

GLN hosts Chelsea Manning fundraiser 2019-05-14 - Aiming to lend financial support to transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning's legal defense, the Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) hosted a fundraiser May ...

Gay News

New Publication Promotes Health, Safety of Trans Youth in Confinement 2019-05-14 - ( San Francisco, CA ) Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) and the Center for Children's Law and Policy ...

Gay News

Trump opposes Equality Act 2019-05-14 - A senior Trump administration official told exclusively to the Washington Blade that the president opposes the bill. "The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination ...

Gay News

Activists call for clemency for trans prisoner 2019-05-09 - Community activists are calling upon Gov. J.B. Pritzker to grant clemency to a transgender state prisoner who says her sentence was extended in ...

Gay News

Pro-trans college aid bill sent to Pritzker 2019-05-09 - A bill that would allow transgender students to receive state financial aid for college, as well as undocumented students, is on its way ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.