¡ASK A MEXICAN!: Mexican Homophobia
I am an openly gay Jewish man; my partner is Mexican-American. My family talks about our relationship with me all the time; his family doesn’t discuss a word about it. We’ve been together two years, and it has never even been acknowledged! Why is this so common with Mexicans? I don’t understand how his family can act like it doesn’t exist. Of course, I don’t bring it up, either. I play the in-the-closet game with them. I am too afraid to say anything that will hurt our relationship. Any suggestions, or experience with this?
Oy Vey with the Homophobia
Dear Heeb: You didn’t reveal enough info. Is your partner out to his familia? Have you talked about your discomfort with him? Are you in a serious relationship? You might think so, but does your partner? There definitely might be a cultural component to your partner’s shunning of you: the Mexican has scores of gay primos whose orientation is never discussed at birria Saturdays and carne asada Sundays, and it’s because the older generation simply doesn’t like jotos and are in denial that some of their beautiful progeny are full-fledged mariposas instead of the homoerotic hombres they’re expected to become. But the Mexican also knows of many old-school families who openly embrace their gay sons, daughters, nephews, nieces and the like. It could honestly be that the family is trying you out to see if you’re worthy of their son–shit, my papi didn’t even acknowledge my now-brother-in-law until a good five years into his courting of my sister, and now Dad and the cuñado are the best of buds!
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