Entertainment Reviews By Leon

ImageButterfly Boy

Memories of a Chicano Mariposa

Author: Rigoberto Gonzalez

Review By: Leon Velasco

Rating: Two Thumbs up

I was able to relate a lot to the character in the book. I too am from Mexican ancestry and anyone with Mexican ancestry can say is that Mexicans are very intolerant of any homosexual; related or not. They see it as such a disgrace to the family.  Nowadays because there is more learned about it; families are beginning to open up to the idea of acceptance, not much, but still enough to embrace the person coming out. I had trouble with a few relatives at first stereotyping me and pre judging me. One uncle went as far as to tell me that if ever I baby-sit that he doesn’t want to find that I’ve done something to his kids. I was even told that it was better had I been dead or unborn than to be gay. So, this characters series of events and hardships are understandable. There are some good things that happen as well that make you feel supportive of the character. It is great to read.

Heartbreaking, poetic, and intensely personal, Butterfly Boy is a unique coming out and coming of age story of a first generation Chicano who trades one life for another, only to discover that history and memory are not exchangeable or forgettable.

Growing up among poor migrant Mexican farm workers, Rigoberto Gonzalez also faces the pressure of coming-of-age as a gay man in a culture that prizes machismo. Losing his mother when he was twelve, Gonzalez must subsequently confront his father’s abandonment and an abiding sense of cultural estrangement, both from his adopted home in the
United States and from a Mexican birthright that seems increasingly foreign and inhospitable. His only sense of connection gets forged in a violent relationship with an older man. By slowly finding his calling as a writer, and by revisiting the relationship with his father during a revelatory trip to
Mexico, Gonzalez finally claims his identity at the complex intersection of race, class, and sexuality. The result is a dazzling leap of faith that every reader who ever felt like an outsider will immediately recognize.

“Rigoberto Gonzalez is a writer who walks, with an elegant gait, the line between sorrow and laughter, anger and acceptance. His prose is shaped by the poetry of irony. And he is a master of it.” –Richard Ridriguez, Author of Brown: The Last Discovery of

“A deeply felt work that belongs in the company of classic American memoirs such as I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, When I Was Puerto Rican, and Hunger of Memory. Where it differs most memorably from those books is in its uncompromising depiction of a young person’s sexual orientation. Engrossing, supremely enjoyable, and beautifully written.”—Jaime Manrique, Author of Eminent Maricones

“In this very personal and poignant autobiography, Gonzalez narrates his coming-of-age and outing as a gay man aimed at the poverty, illiteracy, and abuse-but also love- of his family and community. Fast-moving and told in lucid, visually striking language, this autobiography is sure to make a place for itself.”—Silva D. Spitta, Dartmouth College


ImageFashion Victims

Sex, lies, and ladies’ fashion!

Not Rated

Comedy by Director Ingo Rasper

Starring: Edgar Seige, Florian Bartholomai, Roman Krizka,

Franziska Waiser, Traute Hoess

Review By: Leon Velasco

Rating: Two Thumbs Up

I wanted to experience something other than your usual American made movie; and thought it would be refreshing to give you a little taste of another countries take on gay romantic comedy. Of course you have to know that this movie is in German and has English subtitles but if you’re up for a challenge, you’ll find it to be very entertaining as I did. I was laughing and found that I was anxious to find out what was going to happen next. At first yes, like many other people I would have passed this one by the minute I saw “English subtitles” but I am very glad I didn’t. I’d like to add this to my collection of Gay Cinema. So before you pop in the movie grab your Steins of beer and slip into your best Lederhosen, and prepare for a fun movie.

 Wolfgang Zenker, a middle-aged traveling ladies’ fashion salesman is in dire straits: his deadly rival is threatening to steal his best customers and he’s lost his driver’s license. Desperate to stay one step ahead of his young enemy salesman, he cancels his son’s holiday and employs him as an unwilling chauffer. Things go from bad to worse- the bank is after him, the taxman catches up with him, his wife leaves him and his son announces he’s gay and falls in love with his father’s rival! Family and foe meet in an uproarious showdown where the bullets and misunderstandings fly.

“…sexy and funny jaunt … an utterly satisfying movie-going experience.”

Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

“… Combines a coming-out tale with screwball comedy and poignant family drama.” – Outfest.
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

“Clever Comedy” — Variety


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