¡Ask A Mexican!
By Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: I read in your book that Mexico is due for a revolution about every 100 years or so. The last one was in the first part of the Twentieth Century and you said they are about ready for another one. Do you think the drug war presently being fought between the cartels and the Mexican government is actually just a revolution being funded by drug money? Some of the other analysts I work with think it is, and others think it’s not. Since you seem frank about all things Mexican, what do you think?
—The Ugly American
Dear Gabacho: Scary how prescient I was, ¿qué no? You’d think I was Mayan! My book came out in 2007, and that particular respuesta to a question dates back to a 2005 column. And while the tens of thousands of dead, the hundreds of thousands of Mexicans forced from their homes to flee the narcoviolence and the millions of dollars spent to fight the multi-billion dollar drug industry seems like a revolution, there are no politics involved with the drug cartels—just plain and simple capitalism taken to its Hayekian extremes. You’ll probably see a revolution in the ballot box next year, as Mexican voters will no doubt toss the PAN out of office and go back to the PRI, the political party that ruled Mexico for over 70 years, which shows the only real result of Mexico’s centenary revolts remain the same: meet the new jefe, same as the old boss.
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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