Chicano/Latino males have been caricatured, stereotyped, and eroticized on the big screen throughout the history of U.S. cinema and television. In Latino Images in Film, Charles Ramírez Berg highlights the most common stereotypes for these men: bandido, gang member, buffoon, and Latin lover (68–76). Although several Chicana/o and Latina/o artists and producers have created images of Chicanas/os and Latinas/os that challenge these stereotypes, they nonetheless persist. Here, I am interested in examining the Latin lover archetype as it has been shaped by U.S. popular culture to demonstrate the way this image has evolved over the years and, at the same time, to show how the Latin lover has always had queer characteristics. I trace the trajectory of the Latin lover, beginning with Ramón Novarro and ending with Mario López, and highlight queer aspects of this identity while also underscoring the influence it has had on male aesthetics and on facilitating nonnormative discourses on sexuality.
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- (Re)Examining the Latin Lover: Screening Chicano/Latino Sexualities
Daniel Enrique Pérez
- Palgrave Macmillan US