Chacal is a term used in Mexico City — it describes a masculine guy who fucks other guys. A rough top.

The Urban Dictionary helpfully shows how to use the term Chacal in a sentence: “Total bottoms love chacales…”

It’s a term that I wasn’t familiar with until I was chatting with my Twitter buddy Ricardo. He described Antonio Biaggio — whom we both share a deep appreciation of — as a Chacal.

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Antonio Biaggi@XxxBiaggi

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10:30 PM — May 24, 2018

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In some ways, Chacal is the Mexican version of Masc4Masc — but Latino culture has a complicated obsession with all things macho. In places like Mexico City, your identity as a man, your masculinity, is defined by how you project a macho image to the world. Being gay isn’t easily reconciled with being macho.

“I met this macho guy a few months ago. We were talking, and he said — “The one who eats in silence eats twice…” It’s a Mexican way to discreetly initiate sex between guys, emphasising the need for secrecy.” — Ricardo.

As a way of better understanding the allure of the Chacal, Ricardo suggested that I watch the film La virgen de los sicarios — Our Lady of the Assassins — the adaptation of the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Colombian author Fernando Vallejo.

La virgen de los sicarios tells the story of Fernando — an author who returns to his home city of Medellin and begins a relationship with two teenage boys who are both enmeshed in the city’s cycle of violence.

Ricardo grew up in southern Mexico. As a child he was violently abused. He emigrated to the United States when he was 12-years-old, travelling by himself, arriving into the US on La Bestia — the Beast — a network of Mexican freight trains frequently used by people trying to enter the US without the necessary documentation.

As gay men we are shaped by our culture, we are shaped by our experiences.

Chacal. It’s our word of the day.

Read more from Gareth Johnson