Monday, September 12, 2011

Fabulozzas, Missólogos and LaTogne

“Cuando la conciencia es ligera, el ego se apodera; en conciencias más complejas el ego también se apodera.” Cuqui Bernardini, Miss Guaynabo Forever

OMG (Oh my God in the language of techies) tonite is the night, the night that every self respecting misiólogo expects with ansias locas, the night when them all, “the most of the mostest” (very Rican gay expression that was fashionable around the late sixties among the faab and fast who used to hang out in the Bon Soir, the notorious dancing bar in Eight and Sixth Avenue), when they parade themselves with that very unique walk: left hip leads the way as the left foot is stepped in front, followed by the right foot, immediately placed behind the left one while the face is lightly turned to the right with a perennial smile, slowly, graciously moving their arms like waves in the Caribbean sea. It is the night when in the company of friends who form part of their inner circle and are often part time missólogos*, even gay men who otherwise dedicate themselves to more accepted forms of literary or artistic beauty (many of them would not talk publicly about it among heteros), will find something to say about the latest beauty queen. Sometimes in appreciation, sometimes sarcastically, but something will be said. In the search for beauty gay men can transcend the limits of political or intellectual correctness.

There are few or no possibilities of finding a gay man who does not know someone involved in the world of fashionistas, hair dressers, decorators or those who love to talk about Galliano, Saint Laurent, Channel or the current beauty queen. In Latin America, the latter are called missólogos: men who follow fashion models, beauty contests, their lives, failings and successes, change of careers, who they marry or date, and how they compare with previous ones or the ones to come. Web sites, magazines, study groups, clans and rivalries characterize the world of the misiólogos They have their own dialect and ways to describe their objects of study, their desires.

Fabulozzas (In order to meet Rican missólogo gay sensibility the phoneme for the letter z must be pronounced like the English sound used by some North Americans when they say a word like Jezzus; never like the Castilian version of the zeta, much less the Latin American one). Fabulozzas is how LaTogne (nom de plume used by a particular inner circle of friends when referring to one of the few missólogos in their coterie, and his real name shall be kept a secret since he is an accomplished engineer who is also well known among the followers of classical music in San Juan) and how his net of inter-American group of missólogos describe the women who spend their youth pursuing physical beauty while planning other goals. Goals which can be as varied as the students of beauty queens who follow them, and as strict as their unique walk: left hip, followed by right foot, perennial smiles.

If you hang out with gay men there will always be at least one who loves them, adores them, and find in their shapes, lines, colors, structures, movement, perspective, a little bit of intellectual depth (not much since a lot would destroy the mystique) and historical value. Say what? Historical value? Yes, very post modern: women who show their quasi-naked bodies to the world are post modern retro while being traditional. After all there is a reason why those women competing in the Miss Universe contest still wear their hair like Charlie’s Angels. Very seventies, indeed!

Tonite is the night and at this latter part of a senior’s life there will be no time to watch the beauty parade nor get together with a group of friends to dish and camp and laugh at the world of missólogos and their “girls”. By eight, the news would put a late sixties man to sleep while the “baba” falling from the side of his mouth wakes him up and forces him to turn off the evening news, put away the glass of milk and evening cookies snack, abandon the comfort of the sofa and go to bed. A new day will come and the queen will be front page, and LaTogne will call from Brazil and give all the details, and dish and camp and laugh at the lives of missólogos and fabulozzas, egos and beauty queens.

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