Masculinity In Chulito By Charles Rice-Gonzalez

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Often times, queer young adult literature highlights issues that plague adolescents without ever providing an account that feels authentic for its readers. Chulito by Charles Rice-Gonzalez is a gripping fictional account of what it means to be young, gay and Puerto Rican in New York City. Rice-Gonzalez is a lecturer at Hostos Community College and a longtime LGBT activist within the Bronx. Set in the South Bronx, Chulito explores a variety of themes, including masculinity, gayness, identity, and love. In this book, Rice Gonzalez highlights the importance seeing masculinity as being complex instead of dichotomous- that different forms of masculinity exist, even ones that do not conform to the societal standards of what it means to be “a man” in Nuyorican culture. Gonzalez also explores the impact of social networks and physical environments on whether a character is able to assert their identity or not, as seen through Chulito.…show more content…
He has grown up in the South Bronx, and has already established the group of people that he hangs out with, otherwise known as the fellas from the block. He lives a simple, comfortable life until he notices that his childhood best friend Carlos is involved with another guy. He sees Carlos kiss this man, which sparks feelings of rage and jealousy within Chulito. At first, Chulito struggles with his romantic feelings for Carlos, but is unable to He grapples with these feelings for Carlos throughout the rest of the novel, teetering between being a closeted gay man

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