From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction

For the first time since 1999, when the ground-breaking anthologies Bésame Mucho and Virgins, Guerillas and Locas appeared, has a collection of gay Latino fiction in English been published.

Prepare yourself to dance in a disco in Silver Lake, check out papis in Orchard Beach, cross the border from Guatemala to Mexico on your way to the U.S., see a puro macho bathe in a river in Puerto Rico, make love under a full moon in the Dominican Republic, sigh at a tender moment in an orange grove in Lindsay, visit a panadería in Kansas, see a full blown birthday party in Juarez and be seduced by a young artist in the South Bronx.

These are some of the stories in this collection of 29 gay Latino writers from around the United States. There are “don’t mess with me” divas, alluring bad boys and sexy teenagers, but also empowered youth for whom being queer is not a question and a family that grows wings on their heads. The infectious rhythms of House music in New York City are adjacent to cumbia in Mexico, next to reggaetón in Puerto Rico, alongside Latin pop in L.A. and merengue in an east coast city. But the spectrum of experiences and emotions that inhabit our days give these stories dimension and gay/queer Latinos a common ground. The stories are vibrantly varied and clearly connected in this “era of lost signals” in which we live.

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