Yes! | J.LO | The Johnny Lopez

https://hornet.com/stories/maricon-proud/

by Johnny Lopez

Maricón. It’s a derogatory Spanish word that I, like most gay Latin boys, know far too well.

As a kid, I heard it on the street. I heard it from people I knew. I even heard it at home via Spanish-language television. Whenever I heard it — even when it wasn’t being hurled directly at me — it made me feel small, ashamed and less than. It’s a word I could never really shake off.

Growing up, I was also frightened by the partner-in-crime of maricón, “faggot.” He came around a bunch too, but mostly in the schoolyard.

The Big F was extra loud and obnoxious, so I could usually see him coming and find ways to avoid the line of fire. Unlike Señor M, I knew that Big F had little chance of showing up in my safe spaces or in the middle of my abuelita’s Telemundo soap operas. Señor M was stealthy, and always looming, ready to expose, ridicule or worse.

During my time in the closet, Señor M made sure I stayed locked away in the dark. He kept me in check, on alert and miserable. He made sure I was punished whenever I was overly expressive, played with my sister’s Barbies or hung out with the neighborhood girls instead of the boys. Even worse, Señor M threatened to tip off my parents about my dirty little secret.

Unbeknownst to me, the bastard was also a pretty effective teacher. By the time I got to college, all of his lessons had been fully mastered; I scored straight As in both Suffering in Silence 101 and Denying Yourself Happiness. Now the only person beating me up was myself.

This internal war went on for several more years, continuing to rob me of joy, love and romance.

Then one day, at the point of exhaustion from repeatedly fighting off my persecutor, I surrendered. Taking a deep breath, I turned to my Cuban-born parents and simply said, “Soy gay.” I exhaled for what felt like the first time in my life, unleashed a deluge of tears and collapsed into my mother’s loving arms. I had survived the worst and made it to the other side. I thought I was free.

As most in the LGBT community know, coming out is an ongoing process that extends well beyond the moment you first announce who you are. It took me years to garner the strength to accept and reveal my truth, but it would take even more years to undo the residual shame, internalized homophobia and general feelings of unworthiness that came from being bullied by this slur.

Even after all of my work over the last two decades, living my best life as my authentic self, I realized I was still under the tyranny of my captor. I could still hear that Spanish voice telling me to dim my light in order to make others feel more comfortable. I could still hear that voice calling me maricón.

So this year, I finally said enough. Enough to this one-word childhood oppressor. Enough to these seven letters (accent on the ‘o’) that continued to have a hold on me as an adult. Enough to feeling small, ashamed or less than.

This year, feeling louder and prouder than ever (the one positive effect of being subjected to this relentlessly vulgar, corrupt, backward and vehemently anti-LGBT administration), I chose to unravel the grip of Señor M once and for all.

This year I chose to reclaim the word for myself, and reclaim my time (thanks, Auntie Maxine) under its torment. This year, maricón, I chose to stand tall in my rainbow socks and finally own you!

Words have power, but so do I.

 

Yanny or Laurel

When they go Yanny, we go Laurel!

After finishing the second season of Stranger Things, I couldn’t help but find each of the main characters’ Upside Down bizarro twins.

With the exception of Will, they all have a doppleganger that referenced a star or character from the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s.

Anyway, enjoy the fruits of my lazy Sunday and trust there are no spoilers if you haven’t finished yet.

 

1. Will Byers – Anne Hathaway

Sure Will’s got that Joey Lawrence Gimme a Break Dorothy Hamill ‘do, but the only thing scarier than surviving the Demogorgon is that Anne won an Oscar for singing! I Dreamed a scary Dream!

2. Mike Wheeler – Isabella Rossellini

There are worse things for a 13-year-old boy to be compared to than the eternal beauty of Lisle Von Rohlman from Death Becomes Her.

 

3. Lucas Sinclair – Arnold Drummond (Gary Coleman) in Diff’rent Strokes

Whatcha talkin ’bout who ya gonna call, Lucas?

 

4. Dustin Henderson – J.T. Lambert (Brandon Call) from Step by Step

The scene was straight up Duckie in Pretty in Pink, but Dustin’s weave was the quintessential ‘short but long’ cut of my guido high school and this ’90s child star.

 

5. Eleven – Jamie Lee Curtis (Terror Train/Prom Night era)

Eleven is truly the scream queen for a new generation.

 

6. Steve Harrington – Sandra Bernhard

Ladies love them and their luxurious Fabergé sprayed hair.

 

7. Billy Hargrove – Rob Lowe as Billy Hicks in St. Elmo’s Fire

Speaking of hair, don’t forget they say the accessories make an outfit

 

8. Nancy Wheeler – Diane Franklin (The Last American Virgin, Better Off Dead, Bill & Ted’s)

It’s all about being an ’80s It girl. So be careful, Nancy! #WhereAreTheyNow

 

9. Jonathan Byers – Michael Jackson

The wispy hair, the delicate features, the pale complexion. Maybe I’m the only one that sees it, but Jonathan makes me want to SCREAM!

 

10. Max Mayfield – Carrie (Sissy Spacek)

A redheaded girl without many friends. Hold the pigs blood, because Max has got the power!

 

11. Lucas’ sister Erica Sinclair – Dee (Danielle Spencer) on What’s Happening!!

Can you say scene-stealing wisecracking younger sister? Then how about, “No Roger, No Rerun, No Rent!”

 

12. Joyce Byers – Winona Ryder in Lost Souls

No one does frazzled anxiety quite like Nona. She also hasn’t aged in 20 years. You can’t steal that from Saks!

And finally my favorite ’80s film reference in season 2 goes to Hopper‘s Silkwood shower.

 

Alien, ET, Firestarter, Pretty in Pink… (insert ’80s film here) be damned, nothing tops the hard brush scrubdown of the Meryl Streep film classic. Check out a more thorough list of ’80s references here.

And if you need something else to binge, check out my podcast SCREAMING INTO TRAFFIC!  for all the week’s loud & proud pop culture noize. It’s funny, I swear!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screaming-into-traffic/id1052412883?mt=2

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screaming-into-traffic/id1052412883?mt=2

 Things Learned From Watching the 2017 Grammys

  1. Beyonce can get her mother, sister and daughter screen time, but still doesn’t have the power to get Michelle Williams‘ shift covered at P.F. Changs so she can make a cameo at the Staples Center. Rude! #PoorMichelle

2. By the way Beyonce is flaunting her second pregnancy, it’s obvious we still don’t know who carried her first one. #TheTruthIsOutThere

3. The only person who hasn’t tired of hearing “Hello” is Adele. True story!

4. Keith Urban will be amazing in The Betsy DeVos Story.

5. The highest level in Scientology is OT: Shady ’80s Vegas Lounge Act. Save us, Leah Remini!

6. Immediately following their Bee Gees tribute, Little Big Town performed at your cousin’s wedding in Encino. And they took requests!

7. The imaginary Quentin Tarantino film that Dwight Yoakham & Jason Derulo are living in is going to be amazing.

8. Apologies to Chance the Rapper, but it will always be too soon to bring back Cosby sweaters!

And now a few more silly words on some petty shit. Enjoy!

Beyonce – Narcissistic? Yes. Self-indulgent? Of course. Over the top? Clearly. But c’mon, who doesn’t L-U-V a pop queen on her throne? Now, against your better judgement, yell “slay.”

Adele doesn’t need to dance. Adele doesn’t need backup dancers. Adele doesn’t need elaborate stage shows. Adele doesn’t need to parade her body in a unitard. Adele has a voice. Adele has unparralled talent. Adele can stop and restart her performance on live television and you will love it and cheer and, against your better judgement, yell “slay.” These are not alternative facts!

 

Lady Gaga & Metallica – The Super Bowl was 7 days ago. The Super Bowl is now a memory. The Super Bowl never happened. Now if, against your better judgement, you yelled “slay,” that’s on you.

Katy Perry – ALWAYS. GETS. IT. WRONG.  So Becky may finally be WOKE, but the gurl cannot find a decent outfit if her rights depended on it. She ought to shave her head, as it would be her best lewk yet!  On the positive side, at least NO ONE yelled “slay.”

Jennifer Lopez – She’s been slaying destroying the red carpet since that infamous Versace number, but it’s J.Lo’s stick straight synthetic hair extensions that feel leftover from 2000.  It’s time to leave this overdone trend on the floor! Sorry, mija.

Demi Lovato – Serving KARDASHIAN on the carpet & ’70s SARKISIAN (as in CHER-ilyn) on stage. Guess she’s done being cool … for the summer.

Maren Morris – Winner of best country something or other. What I want to know is: Will she accept this rose? #SheLooksLikeSomeoneOnTheBachelor

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill – They are both turning 50 in a few months. Is country don’t crack a thing?

 

CeeLo – Can someone please Uber Gaga’s 2011 egg and send him home?

Bruno Mars –  Definitely enjoyed it, but there was just one thing missing from his Prince tribute — Wendy & Lisa! 

Rihanna – You don’t need an award, when you’re the coolest chic in the room. Go ahead and say it. I know you want to. “____!”

HalseyAlls I see is a mashup of early Pink, JLo’s Versace thirst and TLC “Creep.” Next!

Paris Hilton Jackson -The resemblance is uncanny. She has her father’s … last name.

A Tribe Called Quest – The one thing I won’t #resist … using “President Agent Orange!” Pass the Courvoisier, Busta!

And finally, if you haven’t heard the latest episode of my weekly pop culture podcast SCREAMING INTO TRAFFIC, just click below.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screaming-into-traffic/id1052412883?mt=2

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It was the night after the Grammys 1997 and the record label in New York I was working at was throwing a party for The Artist‘s – as he was referred to in the office at the time – latest album Emancipation going double platinum.

Myself and the entire publicity staff were working the door at LIFE on Bleecker Street, checking off names on the list, stamping people’s hands as they came through. We were all running on about 3 hours sleep after working the Grammy party the night before and then clocking a full day at the office. But I was high with anticipation & remember the exact moment I laid my human eyes on all 5’2″ of him.

I completely froze. Star sightings in NY or LA are one thing, but ICONS are whole other story. “Holy fucking shit it’s PRINCE,” I screamed silently in my head as he stood no more than five feet away. A mash up of videos for “When Doves Cry,” “1999” & “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (my personal faves) simultaneously rushed through my head as I suddenly became that insecure 12-year-old fanboy standing in line at the Midway Theater in Forest Hills the day Purple Rain came out back in 1984.

Luckily, one of my coherent co-workers opened the velvet rope. He sauntered up, gave half a smile & locked eyes with me for what seemed like forever. For a split second I was Vanity, Apollonia, Wendy &, yes, Lisa. And the water was warm enough!

As is usually the case, it was over before it even started. He and his platform boots were quickly whisked down the stairs to hold court inside the club’s VIP room. And I was abruptly brought out of my purple haze by the sight of Marilyn Manson & Joan Osborne – remember it’s 1997 – holding out their wrists asking to be stamped. But all was good with the world, because I was officially Delirious.

#RIP #TheArtistForeverKnownAsPrince #Prince

PrinceMadonnaMJ
Crazy that they were all born the same year & even more insane that two have left us.

In 1984, the soundtrack to this 13-year-old’s life (like so many of my generation) was “Purple Rain,” “Thriller,” and “Madonna.”

They were, are & forever will be The Trinity. Now can someone please PLEASE put Madonna in a padded glass box??!!

#ICONS #RIP #Prince #MichaelJackson #LongLiveTheQueen #Madonna #TheTrinity

Rihanna_GwynethPaltrow_TheJohnnyLopez

RiRi‘s outfit at the Black Girls Rock gala this weekend was Goop approved.

She’s our winner of this year’s “Snatch Game” on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Christy700
In the words of RuPaul: “Christy, foxy lady, out of sight.”

#YouBettaWork