By Elmer G. Roldan, @grand.supreme.chapin
It’s a cold world.
Parents must equip their kids with the tools to resist becoming jaded by the insurmountable loads of hatred and salt that is spilled in the world on a daily.
Nowhere is that hater dust more prevalent than in our children’s schools. It is in that exact setting that today’s story takes place.
A friend of mine recently shared on a Facebook post that she was both upset and saddened after finding out that her 6-year-old son was teased and ridiculed for using his unicorn lunch pail – a gift he’d received for his birthday.
Doing what we all do whenever we get some cool shit that we’re proud to show off, he strolled into the school like, “Blam! My Little Pony, bitches, what’s really good?! (He didn’t actually say that. I’m adding it for dramatization)
A group of kids responded by calling him a girl and telling him that unicorns and pink shit are not for little vatos.
So, let us look deeper at the two characters in this mini-altercation: the unicorn and the lagartos.
Unicorns are unique individuals who are too busy enjoying life to worry about what the fuck you think.
Unicorns do them. Period. They challenge all norms when it comes to style, gender, sexual orientation, speech, and mannerism…. shit, their clocks tell a different time.
Parents of unicorns have the responsibility to warn them about this cold world. A cookie-cutter culture world. A world where everyone thinks they’re so special, but in reality, they’re a ditto of their squad.
Notice that I didn’t say Xerox or color copy. That’s because most people are stale ass replicas of the lames they hang with.
Lagartos is the group that I know well because I was a lagarto: misguided, insecure, and impressionable.
Lagartos hate unicorns. They’re intimidated by them because they can’t stand that someone has the fucking nerve to be different.
They do what their asshole parents taught them to do- behave like a solar eclipse that casts a massive shade in the world of the unicorn.
It starts with ignorance and that triggers fear, jealousy, and envy.
The jealous person starts acting out and questioning things that are different.
Different is unacceptable.
Boom. Bap. Words. Shoves. Punches. Blackeyes. Bruises. Hurt feelings. People hiding their true selves out of fear of being ostracized.
I grew up in the 90’s. An era when lagartos ruled the planet. Everything around us told us that being “gay” and being a “girl” was bad: rap music, Hollywood movies, Spanish TV, sports, the church, the Constitution, corporations, our government.
The messages transmitted through these mediums were all consistent and lagartos merrily repeated their mantras.
In Junior High School, all the little lagartos at my school joked about who was a joto or a bitch. Of course, our Thesaurus was admirable and expansive.
We had more ways of calling our friends “putas” and “culeros” than we had ways of telling them that we “loved” them.
Times have changed a lot. Don’t get me wrong, lagartos are still powerful. But, something has happened as a result of the movements for gender non-conformity, sexual orientation, and human equality.
Our kids have become less ignorant and fearful. There’s more unicorns freely expressing their awesomeness. Boys are learning to be less ignorant. Girls and lgbtq kids are standing up for themselves more often.
Misogyny and sexism are still too heavy and we got a lot more work to do. But, boys today are more likely to call their homeboys out for saying homophobic stuff. At the very least, they are not using that language themselves.
Back to my friend’s story. She stepped in and activated a network of friends, family and school personnel to protect the unicorn. Over 100 comments on the thread reassured her that she’d done the right thing by supporting her son.
Parents have to learn to chill out on the lagarto culture. We have to support the unicorns to be themselves and the little lagartos to learn about love and empathy.
The lagarto way of thinking is learned and can be unlearned.
You don’t have to dress your boys in pink to prove a point. You ain’t gotta rock a unicorn lunch pail to fit it. In fact, you can do the opposite! But do it to please your heart and not to fit in.
Start by questioning the lessons that society and institutions teach us about who is considered good vs. bad, strong vs. weak, and holy vs. sinful.
Learn from unicorns and start to give a fuck less about what people think. Start caring more about how your heart feels.
The best way to treat others with kindness is to love yourself! Your kids will learn that from you.