This poet breaks down how machismo is toxic for very queer Latino out there.
Xavier “CoolKid” Grullon is not having it with the machismo culture that wants to prevent queer and emotionally open Latino men from existing as they are. The poet systematically breaks down why that kind of thinking and action can be so damaging. The use of that language can have long-lasting impacts on those that are being assaulted. Grullon doesn’t hold back as he screams and shakes and beats his chest while telling the story of a young boy growing up and being questioned about his sexuality all of his life.
“Crying is for the weak. Salty streams of wishes do not flow through these canals. They have dried up long ago by the temper that possess me,” Grullon says evoking strong emotions. “Too hot headed for his own good is a trait that every Latin boy inherits when he is born. From he moment of his birth it is whispered in his ears that Latin boys don’t cry. And the first time that he does, God will open up the sky and say, ‘How dare you. Vulnerability is not an ability that I blessed you with. There is no room for those tears. Suck it up, boy!’”
Grullon goes on to share what it looks like when everyone looks at the crying Latin boy and makes them feel unacceptable for being who they are. The poet masterfully challenges the idea that Latin men have to be tough, stoic, and emotionless. Grullon increases his tempo and his volume as the poem progresses almost as if conveying the confusion and chaos that exists within those Latin boys.