Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Here’s a story: It’s well after midnight. I sit there, at my laptop, tequila in hand.Like a good machista(if I could ever become one), I don’t drink my tequila with much in it: a single ice cube, a squirt of lime, and a dash of tajín. I can feel my cheeks warming up as the alcohol kicks in. I remember what my mom told me about tequilaonce, “you feel it in your chest.” Rancheramusic isn’t for sober listening—for sober ears—you feel it in your chest. No charro(Mexican cowboy)would sing “Por Tu Maldito Amor” sober. Like any goodMexican, I too contemplate with mi Chente1in the cantina, thinking of all the woes and lovers who have wronged me. Chente and I have a pretty big difference, though, since I am a maricón, a faggot, and thus a juxtaposition to the strength of the machista and the charro, the two iconic figures ofwho a “real” Mexican man is. But I have another indulgent secret: not only am I a maricónand a puto,2I’m a niño-niña, a boy-girl. My own betrayal of the Mexican man I am “supposed” to be, my trans-femme queerness (which is a word as foreign to many Mexicans as maricónmight be to you, the reader), is surprisingly not at conflict with the music video3I am watching.

Level of Honors

magna cum laude


Conservatory of Music


Sonja Lynn Downing

Streaming Media