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ERIC Number: EJ760970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Queering the Homeboy Aesthetic
Rodriguez, Richard T.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v31 n2 p127-137 Fall 2006
The homeboy aesthetic is identifiable as an assemblage of key signifiers: clothing (baggy pants and undershirts are perhaps the most significant), hair (or, in the current moment of the aesthetic, lack of hair), bold stance, and distinct language (think "calo" mixed with hip-hop parlance), all combining to form a distinguishable cultural affectation hard to miss on Los Angeles city streets. The homeboy aesthetic is at once the subject of admiration and fear. It is embraced and resisted as a mode of working-class sensibility and a marker of cultural difference. For those who adopt it, the aesthetic is conscientiously contoured by repetition, but its tenor is decidedly implacable and cocksure. As the "Times" article suggests, the aesthetic conventionally signifies heterosexual masculinity. In this essay the "queer" homeboy aesthetic, however, refers to a style, circulating within Chicano/Latino gay male spaces, whose visibility emanates from the interplay of materiality and fantasy. This essay aims to do more than simply cast the homeboy aesthetic as an object of desire devoid of context; rather, it foregrounds the historical and social settings in which the queer homeboy aesthetic materializes to grasp, in turn, the materiality of the aesthetic as fashioned by desire. It presents as an example the work of a brilliant Chicano artist, Hector Silva, whose delicious style also establishes fantasy spaces within which to queer the homeboy aesthetic. (Contains 2 figures and 8 notes.)
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California