Leo Cabranes-Grant. Chat Room & other Latino Plays. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-5-4. $22.95.

"It gives me great pleasure to introduce Floricanto's New Series: Latino GLBT works. In this edition, we have "The Chat Room and Other Latino Plays" which explores the complexities of Latino gay life through characters and events that challenge our expectations in both funny and disturbing ways. Several closeted men meet in a public space to flirt with each other, but end up discussing the joys and pains of fatherhood. A bisexual man surprises his gay partner with an unusual birthday gift: a Puerto Rican. A Latino-Rican decides to pursue a chat room date with a mysterious man that slowly takes over his apartment and even brings a woman in. All three plays are an invitation to revise our values and to experiment with new identities." Carlos T Mock, MD

"That's one very important reason why this new line from Floricanto Press exists: to provide Latinos/as and other readers, writers, and interviewers with GLBT writers of quality who will provide significant work about the Latino-American gay experience. Writers like Leo Cabranes, whose plays Floricanto is putting out, in effect, leading the way. Leo addresses the issue: what does it mean to be a Latino-American in the U.S? How does the color of your skin, or your accent, or any of a dozen of perceived differences affect not only how you may be treated-demonized, vilified, adored, iconized-but also how you come to perceive yourself? And how does that change who you become? In Mortality, the changing and changeable nature of Latino American GLBT identity becomes a toy played with by the characters and the author to express and illuminate the underlying anxiety that this topic always incites. And we've not yet begun to explore other themes of this writing: machismo versus homosexuality, male versus female, and how or even why that should alter to catch up to the rest of the world. Or the role of the various religions-Catholicism versus Santeria for example-that are touched upon in these works. So much to read. So much to think of. Meanwhile welcome to this new line of Floricanto gay Hispanic books. I hope you enjoy the work, as much as I've enjoyed it." Felice Picano.

 

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