What is Ricky's reaction when Richard tells him that he loves him in Pocho?

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Ricky and Richard have a very close relationship, a kind of bromance, if you will. But there's initially no sense that either one of them will transgress the boundaries of what's consisted acceptable in the fiercely macho culture in which they've been brought up.

And yet, all that seems to...

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Ricky and Richard have a very close relationship, a kind of bromance, if you will. But there's initially no sense that either one of them will transgress the boundaries of what's consisted acceptable in the fiercely macho culture in which they've been brought up.

And yet, all that seems to change after the episode where Richard feels a "certain affection" towards Ricky because he didn't say anything about his—Richard's—dirty legs. For Richard, dirty legs represent poverty and and racial difference; furthermore, they are a symbol of the abjection of working-class immigrant life. And so the fact that Ricky doesn't say anything negative about Richard's dirty legs is a sign of acceptance, which gives Richard a nice warm glow inside.

Yet despite the homosocial affiliation developing between the two adolescent boys, there are limits as to how it can develop. Just what those limits are we discover on the very next page, when Richard casually tells Ricky that he loves him, to which Ricky responds with anger:

Hey, you're not going queer, are you? 'Cause if you are, I...

At that moment, Richard realizes that a line has been crossed and that he and Ricky can never be friends again; friendly, yes, but not friends. He feels frustrated with the cultural prohibitions against gay sexuality, and expresses that frustration by cussing out Ricky.

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