Commentary: Too Bad Daddy Yankee Isn’t Gay

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Well, it may not matter to a lot of us, but the sad truth is that in the innately machista reggaeton and hip-hop it does still matter. As art forms created by African American and Latino males, to be rough and rugged was always the motto; showing your emotions was weak. After all, hip-hop is the voice of the streets — Jay-Z dealing crack on a Brooklyn corner, Rakim doing stickups, Cypress Hill shooting “putos.” Reggaeton had similarly grimy origins. There’s never been room for anything less than your stereotypical testosterone-addled brown or black hombre from the ‘hood.

So it’s no wonder that though the odds are probably high that some of your favorite urban artists are in the closet, the genre has yet to produce an openly gay superstar (Frank Ocean is R&B). Almost makes you wish that the Twit pic, which Yankee said was false, had been real. It would’ve sent a huge message to the status quo.

Of course, in the Latin community, that status quo extends beyond music. Even though stats show that Latinos are heavily in favor of gay marriage and despite the fact that some Latin American countries have legalized it, Jose & Juan as a couple is still taboo in a lot of circles.

Some Latino males have been raised to ridicule homosexuality or even regard it as a disease. My father, a blue collar Ecuadorian immigrant, along with his friends would mock our barrio’s resident gay guy, Franklin. As the ringleader, my dad would mockingly throw piropos at Franklin while his friends would join in on the fun. It was all in good fun, or so I thought. Because Franklin was seemingly OK with it, he would laugh, swing his hips and throw kisses back. It was only much later that I realized it was wrong. Franklin surely wouldn’t confront any of the neighborhood guys by himself. Who would defend him? It was easier just to play along.

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About this author

Jesus Trivino,

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jesús Triviño Alarcón began his professional journalism career at Vibe. At 25, he became editor-in-chief of Fuego, the first national English language Latino men’s magazine, and served as senior editor for Scratch, a magazine dedicated to hip-hop producers and DJs. Since then he has guided the editorial direction for MyNuvoTV.com, the online component of the Latino lifestyle cable network, and BET.com's music shows and specials including 106 & Park. Additionally, he has written and reported for the NY Daily News, SLAM, The Source, XXL, Inked, SOHH.com, People.com, Essence.com, and many more. In his 13-year career he’s interviewed countless celebrities including Carmelo Anthony, Demi Lovato, Marc Anthony, Rosario Dawson, Willie Colón, Jay-Z, Nas, Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent, Kanye West, among others. Today, as Latina’s Entertainment Editor he’s constantly thinking WWJD—What Would Juanes Do? Follow me on Instagram @JesusTalks and Twitter @JTrivinoAlarcon.

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