A recent NewsBlast from Pride Center of WNY featured an upcoming urban book discussion presented by The Gay Men’s Summer Book Club. Normally these discussions take place on the outskirts of Buffalo (from what I can tell from the NewsBlasts), but with with advent of the opening of Panera Bread on Elmwood Avenue, the group is venturing onto Elmwood Avenue for a session on Thursday, September 19th 7:00pm.
The book to be discussed is Chulito by Charles Rice-Gonzalez (read about the selection below). In order to attend the event, participants must join the book club, and must also RSVP to the discussion. More information can be found at this site, along with additional details and membership/RSVP info.
Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan’s piers, Chulito is a coming-of-age, coming out love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop-loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters who populate his block.
Chulito, which means “cutie,” is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up–the owner of the local bodega, the Lees from the Chinese restaurant, his buddies from the corner, and all of his neighbors and friends, including Carlos, who was Chulito’s best friend until they hit puberty and people started calling Carlos a pato…a faggot.
Chulito rejects Carlos, buries his feelings for him, and becomes best friends with Kamikaze, a local drug dealer.
When Carlos comes home from his first year away from college and they share a secret kiss, Chulito’s worlds collide as his ideas of being a young man, being macho, and being in love are challenged.