Sandra Cisnero’s challenges one of Chicanx culture’s greatest taboo when she crafts a flamboyant character by the birth name of Rudy Cantu in her short story “Remember the Alamo”. The story is introduced by Rudy’s self-described love for performing and the appreciation he has for his audience. He jokingly expressed how he is so enraptured with his fans that he imagines/ remembers and thanks them every time he cooks rice. Rudy transforms into a fearless performer that goes by the name of Tristan during his events. Tristan is fierce and the crowd is enamored by his elegance, ferociousness, fearlessness, style and grace. The narrator notes that whenever Rudy transforms into Tristan, his problems fade. He is no longer a victim of ulcers, bloody bed sheets, dying loved ones and forsakenness. He is alive and his life begins, in the stage with roaring fans. They breathe life into him and ugly no longer exist. Cisneros’ elaborated how Tristan has never experienced poverty in the sums, sexual assault, or the burdening feeling of shame. He becomes cleansed in a city that has seen so much death and despair for people of color.
Sandra Cisneros challenges our ideological thoughts on male femininity with her character of Rudy. Throughout her section, “There Was A Man, There Was A Woman” she exemplifies stereotypical gender roles in Latinx-American communities where a woman is seen a fragile and a man is deemed to be macho. The prevalent difference with “Remembering the Alamo” is that the gender of our protagonist is reversed. Unlike when our female characters challenge the roles in place, our lead does not find empowerment. Instead he faces a constant battle within himself and his inherently machista culture.
In order for Rudy to accept /mask his femininity he must become an entirely new person, Tristan. He hides behind this new persona and exemplifies how even within himself, Rudy represents the masculinity within him and Tristan hides his femininity. Although Rudy embraces the feelings and attention brought onto him by Tristan, he still holds the homophobic enigma often seen within the Chicanx community. Throughout the excerpt Rudy is fighting his intimidation of Tristan. Rudy grabs “the fag hag by the throat and throttles her senseless”, even so, Tristan remains unafraid, seeking acceptance and self -love.