Discussions with OC Vato “Flaco”:
Damien: What is your experience with Queer Chol@ Culture?
Flaco: In the Pachuco– Cholo culture, lead from the old way of doing things we Have Machismo, it’s stuck in our culture- it’s our warrior mentality, we bring it to another level of brotherhood and Xicanismo in each age from the 20’s past the Millennium. Now in our own Barrios there’s more openness, you can actually… in my experience if you knew met someone that was straight out gay they were already from the Barrio….Pachuco/Choloism you had some people that are not in clicas who rock the cholo style. It’s not a style; it’s a way of life. There’s a lot of wannabe’s who like to rock a look because it looks firme, but it’s not their stilo, it doesn’t go with their personality. The personal stilo of a real cholo holds is somebody that is so true to that lifestyle and that lifestyle can be interpreted in many different ways…
Damien: So the Chol@ culture can be Queer? It can be Gay or Lesbian?
Flaco: Yes. I Know more VeterANAS that are lesbian than I have ever met openly gay cholos, that’s the thing, straight out, BUT it doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Because there is a lot of in the closet-the dudes that hide it and they keep hiding it because they are ashamed.
Damien WHY?? Why do gay cholos have to hide?
Flaco: Then there’s the cats who openly outright do it, and…it trips people out.
Damien: In the Barrio? Do they have respect?
Flaco: They somehow keep it, well usually like I said that’s connected to the inside world. When you have a connection. Something like, basically they say ‘they’re bad ass in there…and there bad ass when they come out’! And, whatever it is they can back it up! They’re backing up there lifestyle to the fullest.
Damien: Damn! So actually the ‘Queer Chicano Cholo’ has to assert his ‘Warrior Machismo mentality’ even more to defend himself?
Flaco: Because if it’s seen as any sort of weakness then…that’s weird man.
Damien: Then they’d have to fuck some shit up??
Flaco: Well ya’ know…then you have cats that do their own thing, that live in the barrio. They are cholos, always have been a cholo. Ya’ know they look the stereotypical view of it, or whatever ya’ know, there are many different styles from being pelon-to remnants of the Pachuco pompaudor-basically the hair slicked back. Things like that. I’ve seen a lot more lesbians who are true, TRUE WARRIORS!
Damien: Talk about that, talk about that!
Flaco: They are truly down for their lifestyles.
Damien: How do Cholos view Lesbian Cholas?
Flaco: They just accept them, there is a few that I still know. They are Loco. They are connected to our family.
Damien: Yeah we have lots of Gays and Chol@s in our family. Do you think that straight male Chicano Cholos accept Lesbian Cholas more than a gay Cholo?
Flaco: Oh yeah…It’s not that they respect, right off hand some people are more close minded to these things, like I tell people, if you don’t agree with something, I don’t know if they don’t want to understand, they don’t want to accept it, they don’t have anyone who is close to them that is gay so they don’t know how to deal with it. It’s just like to them they were aliens that didn’t exist to them, and they walk around blind, like ‘I don’t see I don’t know’, cool, everyone does their own thing, BUT when it’s their brother, or cousin, or somebody very close…
Damien: Somebody in the Barrio?
Flaco: But, if it really is all about your familia, if it really is about your own peoples then you should take that quite more seriously. Respect is not something that can be turned on and off like a light switch. It has to be kept on. If you are going to live a life of respect, which is a part of the Chol@ lifestyle, one of the main ways to guide everything, if you wish to die with respect you must live a life of respect to the fullest.