Pollita Linda

Updated: May 27

The story goes…


One day, my mom and her friend are having a conversation. Chismeando, like a couple of comadres who have a long list of mandados to run, but somehow always find time to gossip.


Everyone in the neighborhood called my mom’s friend marimar—a derogatory term used predominantly (if not exclusively) within Mexican-American communities when referring to an effeminate male, oftentimes believed to be homosexual, although not always the case.


I don’t know whether or not my mom referred to them as marimar, but a part of me hopes she chose a more dignified way of recognizing them.

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Just before parting ways, marimar asked my mom if she could look after one of their baby chicks. Like many of the houses in the neighborhood, several chickens and baby chicks roamed marimar’s yard. Confused, but never one to say no to those she loved, my mom agreed then headed home.


With no place to properly house the baby chick, my mother decided to leave them in the bathroom with the door closed. Certain nothing would happen as the chick was no bigger than the size of a tennis ball, she headed to work for the remainder of the afternoon.


Later that night, after work, my mother came home and headed straight to the bathroom only to find the pollita floating inside the toilet bowl.

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Despite all of her efforts, my mother was inevitably confronted with the situation during one of her regular conversations with marimar. However, to my mother’s surprise, marimar said they already knew. Of course, it saddened marimar to hear about the pollita’s unfortunate end, but they were more concerned with my mother being honest with them.

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Although I’ve heard this story multiple times, only recently have I recognized the parallels, let alone the depth, between my experiences and the tale. As a Queer person growing up in a house full of patriarchial cis-gendered men, much of my understanding of queerness as immoral came from my immediate family and friends. Often, I wonder what coming into my queerness would have looked like had my mother been alive today. I wonder what role honesty plays in decolonizing the way I view gender and sexuality, and the roles LGBTQ+ folks play/played in pre-colonial society.

 

*Term translations*

  1. Chismeando: gossiping

  2. Comadres: general term for friend

  3. Mandados: errands

  4. Pollita: baby chick











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