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When Ricardo F. Jaramillo was 8, he would often walk hand-in-hand with his best friend, Pedro. After another boy their age split their hands apart, proclaiming that their hand-holding was “gay,” they never held hands again.
In the essay “Why Can’t Men Say ‘I Love You’ to Each Other?,” Mr. Jaramillo describes that interaction as the first time he experienced society’s oppressive norms regulating male behavior, and he goes on to question those norms, especially the ways in which they suppress tenderness and vulnerability among men.
On this week’s Modern Love podcast, Ncuti Gatwa reads Mr. Jaramillo’s essay, which was a finalist in the Modern Love column’s 2019 college essay contest. Mr. Gatwa is a Scottish actor who plays Eric Effiong in the Netflix show “Sex Education.”
Mr. Jaramillo is a teacher, essayist and Fulbright scholar. His latest essay will be published this week through WHYY, Philadelphia’s public radio station. Stay tuned after the reading to hear more from him, Mr. Gatwa and the Modern Love editor Daniel Jones.