This piece inevitably evolved from its first drafty version fifteen years ago.
The entire concepts of identity and community went through a change in theory and practice, and the visibility of the good, the bad, the ugly and the glorious in gay is to be welcomed in the end.
But Machos is not about the change, but understanding the change. At the heart of the matter is how Ricky’s world is turned upside down because roles he believed fixed (if not ideal) are wholly shaken. Rosario ends in a similar position when Stu suggests he may cross-dress.
That is when Ricky closes with his own realization. He fought because of that label: perhaps at first he fought his own realization of it, and this sets the neighbors apart from the other men. Because it could not be denied, he now realizes the dignity in fighting to own it.