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.

 

 

If you’re watching Pose on FX, then you know it’s time for the House of Celebrity Dopplegangers Ball.

Blanca, your category is: Fame, Oh What A Feeling Irene Cara Up in Pumps With A Twist.

Elektra, your category is: Do You Know Where You’re Going To As A Legendary Icon Serving 70s Supermodel Diana Ross Vogue. #Mahogany

Angel, your category is: Say Hello To My Little Italian-American Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Stuntin’ As The Cuban Sis Of ‘ScarFACE’ Realness.

Pray Tell, your category is: Femme Queen First Time In A 90s Sitcom ‘Living Single’ At The Ball.

10s across the board, children. #WalkForMe

 

serving Madonna lewks
Unbeknownst to them, pop princesses Julia Michaels and Grace VanderWaal both served music royalty realness in their iconic Madonna lewks at the Billboard Music Awards.

Fun fact: Julia was born a year after the release of Madge’s fifth studio album Erotica.

Even more fun fact: Grace was born after M’s ninth studio album Amercan Life.

Yanny or Laurel

When they go Yanny, we go Laurel!

Matt Dillon

 

Matt Dillon at the Cannes Film Festival almost exactly 20 years to the day.

Anybody got some of that special Cameron Diaz hair gel?

Anna Kendrick, Lindsey Vonn, Sofia Carson

While the world burns to the ground because of our garbage President, what I’m really afraid of is that Anna Kendrick will retaliate against me.

Be best, A!

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

We are definitely in an era of peak reality TV.

May the Lord open and make it all go away!

The season 10 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race proved these chilrin are snatched for their lives!

Three things I loved about the premiere: 1. Seeing the all the queens from previous seasons. This is how you launch the first episode of the season. 2. Christina Aguilera giving us drag queen realness. It makes sense since for some of these kids, the Moulin Rouge video was their first introduction to drag. 3. Vanessa Vanje Mateo’s commentary. Someone give her a YouTube recap series stat.

Three things I didn’t like about the premiere: 1. Vanje went home. 2. Vanje went home. 3. Vanje went home. I don’t like these cookies!

Here are this week’s drag superstar twinsies!

Aquaria is a Real Housewife of NY!

She’s lip syncing to this Medley… Dorinda Medley.

 

Mayhem Miller, how do you like this COOKIE?!

This queen is ready for her Empire.

 

Miz Cracker, you’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you look like Linda Evangelista.

Sorry Valentina!

 

Monet X Change is a Master of None.

But she may snatch trophies like Lena Waithe.

 

Kameron Michaels‘ muscles will VanderPUMP you up!

Yes, SUR.

 

Vanessa Vanje Mateo — Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty!

 

Kalorie Karbdashian Williams … with a Z!

 

The Vixen is looking for a new love! (Jody Watley)

 

Monique Heart is having a Ball. (Lucille Ball)

 

Dusty Ray Bottoms — Hey Kitty Girl!

Now & Forever! #Cats

 

Yuhua Hamasaki wins the Minnie challenge!

 

Blair St. Clair has shown her evil side. (Ursa)

It’s going to take a superman to beat her!

 

Eureka O’Hara – This Runway look is a winner.

Let’s hope her sewing skills are half as good as Ashley Nell Tipton’s.

 

Asia O’Hara has drawn True Blood. (Lafayette)

Side note: I couldn’t find a template with 14 pics so had to pick one queen to leave out of the composite. No shade Asia. It was just the luck of the draw.

ICYMI: Here’s the one drag celebrity side-by-sides I did for All-Stars 3:

For more pop culture recaps, reads & shade, makes sure you download the latest episode of SCREAMING INTO TRAFFIC podcast! Available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Friendster!

Or just listen to it right here!

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