Jun 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New book explores cultural nuances among Latinos

John Paul Brammer with his book.
John Paul Brammer’s well-reviewed “¡Hola, Papi!” hasjust gone into a second printing. Photo: Courtesy of John Paul Brammer

The question of what makes us Latino “enough” is lovingly and humorously discussed in a book that explores coming to terms with how we shape our identities and choose to express our Latinidad.

Why it matters: As a broader section of the U.S. acknowledges the cultural nuances and differences among Latinos, projects like ¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons show how the community’s diverse experiences can be universally connected.

  • The essays deal with “feeling homesick for a home [you’ve] never had,” bullying, queerness, mental health and being in love.

Details: Author and advice columnist John Paul Brammer told Axios Latino how turning “painful things” like discrimination “into lyrical or funny things” gave him a sense of agency and power by changing how he looked at them.

  • He says he feared the book would fail and be taken by some to represent the viability of all similar artistic works, since “people don’t give a whole lot of shots to Latino projects.”
  • But the book has now gone on to a second printing, just two weeks after launch.

What they’re saying: “What I hope people, specifically Latinos, get out of this book is to feel a little bit more empowered in who they are without trying to stretch or shift or edit themselves to try and fit into others' idea of what their lives should look like,” says Brammer.

  • Another project that humorously takes on the weighty expectations of Latinidad is the podcast “Hyphenated,” hosted by comediennes of Venezuelan and Cuban ancestries who discuss curse words, abuelas and the freedom of not fitting in.
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