Puto

Be me. Brown kid called Black or Black called brown, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Be me. Eating Puto.

What did you say?

Puto. I said I am eating Puto.

Be me. Answering the question of “what is that?” to a light-skin Latino boy from Hercules, CA. Be me, trying to understand why he and his friends are suddenly laughing and glaring at me like I said the worst word in the history of lingua. Be me eating puto as my afternoon snack.

What did you just call me?

Jose, I didn’t call you anything. You asked me what I was eating and I said…

You’re eating puto!

Be me. 11-year-old. Trying to understand the difference between a slur and my desert. The sweetness of a rice cake and the bitterness of being hated. Be me, a young queer
Black Pinoy eating puto.

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