Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Hispanic Studies


Rafael Montano


This thesis examines how the narratives of Raúl Rodríguez Cetina, Luis Zapata, Mario Bellatin, and Gerardo Guiza Lemus recreate what I call Espacio Torcido (Queer Space) in which they aim (some more than others) at questioning and deconstructing the values of the heteronormative system: ambiguity, pleasure, rupture, and the quest for legitimacy compose this space. While each author takes a different approach, it can be said that they all participate in the construction of the history of the gay community in Mexico as seen in the latter part of the XX century: 1977-1997. In particular, this study looks at how these authors are constantly faced with the so called “traditional” gender stratified activo/pasivo model and the so called “modern” object choice gay model. Chapter one looks at the way autobiographical content and male prostitution serve both as a foundation and critique of an unjust social order where machismo is juxtaposed to homoerotism as reflected in El desconocido (1977) and El pasado me condena (2009); chapter two explores the influence and repercussions of a gay identity in Mexico to debunk common homosexual stereotypes as seen in Melodrama (1983); chapter three takes a look at the rupture caused by the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which paradoxically opened the doors of visibility and new rights for the gay community in Salón de belleza (1994); and lastly, chapter four discusses the formation of same-sex relationships in a hostile environment where modernity and tradition are constantly interwoven as represented in Quizás no entendí (1997). The theoretical framework used to develop this study is multifaceted by incorporating different queer approaches from the United States, France, Spain, and Mexico. In conducting a close reading of the above-mentioned texts, it was possible to determine how the Mexican Homosexual novel is still very much in the process of construction; however, it is a clear indication of the issues pertaining to the ever-changing gay community and its continuous quest for the legitimacy of a vast array of sexual identities.