Around two-hundred years ago, in the early eighteen-twenties, my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Colonel Santiago Roman-Igual Terán, donned on the crisp blue red and gold army uniform which his wife had stayed up the previous three nights making for him. The heat of the morning air penetrated his nostrils like a fresh cup of coffee, and with his rifle and his horse, he rode with his compadres, men of valor, to once-and-for all remove Mexico from the hands of Spain, in what is now known as the Mexican War of Independence.
As every American will tell you, it worked; the Spaniards surrendered, the Treaty of Cordoba was signed on September 27, 1821, to be later exploited by American corporations to this day. However, on that day, my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Colonel Santiago Roman-Igual Terán, was a man of honor, valor y dignidad.
However, as every American may know, I am currently a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I like to think that I have come far in life, but my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Colonel Santiago Roman-Igual Terán does not share the same sentiments. In fact, last night as I was writing an essay on Queerness and The Eternal Return in the library, he walked up to me and stared at me with a stern look of disappointment that not even my abusive father could have managed.
“No te has convertido en hombre en todos estos años,” he said.
“O que você quer que eu faça?” I asked incredulously.
“Asqueroso. Ni siquiera puedes hablar en tu lengua nativa.” he replied, aghast.
Sadly, I had to admit that he called me out. While I have managed to learn rudimentary Portuguese in my attempt to study in Brazil, I have not yet taken up learning Spanish again.
He continued, “Para ser un hombre, debes ir a la batalla, vencer a tu enemigo y crear una nueva vida para ti y para tu amado.”
I have to admit, his advice cut deep. I mean, I may identify more as genderfluid than only masculine, but after all, what have I been doing all this time but fighting my own battles? ¿He vencido a mi enemigo? Eu não sei. Thanks to my great, great, great grandfather, Colonel Santiago Roman-Igual Terán, I now realize that I must, with deliberate action, seize the head of my future, e entrar na Igreja com ela como um troféu, ringing the bell of revolution. And what of my love life? My great, great, great grandfather, Colonel Santiago Roman-Igual Terán doesn’t care about the gender of the person I lie in bed with; in fact, he said, “Tuve muchos amantes masculinos y femeninos en el apogeo de mi juventud.” I must have the same attitude. I will find a lover e lutar pela cidade em que vivemos. It is the only way to live.
I realized that night, that my great, great, great grandfather, Colonel Santiago Roman-Igual Terán may be disappointed in me, but he wants to see me become myself, and now I do too.