For being an original L.A. badass, it is somewhat remarkable that Dino Dinco was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and raised, very literally, in a biker bar until he was 14. Dinco moved out here then, in 1984, and has transformed himself into a widely exhibited video artist and photographer and a fixture of the Eastside Latino gay scene.
His latest short film, Mr. Right Now: Telephonically Yours, depicts Dinco at home cruising a gay-hookup phone line, describing himself differently to several callers as an exploration of the ways in which gay men advertise themselves. The film ends with Dinco asking each caller he’s kept going back and forth with, in a thrilling crescendo, “Do you believe in the power of love?”
Los Angeles, Dinco said, is his inspiration. He also kinda looks a lot like L.A.
He wears a shaved head and a sharply trimmed mustache. He favors dark, baggy clothing. For a period of time, he drove “an old ’50s car” and was pulled over at random every couple of months. “People have this weird obsession with race, especially in Los Angeles; it’s really perverse,” Dinco said. “Upon meeting somebody, the second or third question is: So what are you?”
Dinco is not Latino. But, whatever. “I love Latino culture, and I’m gay, so it’s a pretty simple equation.” He saw his city in a new light after the Gran Marcha for immigrant rights on March 25 in downtown, which he covered for the blog AShadedViewOnFashion, to which he also contributes. The small number of non-Latino faces disappointed him. He explained: “Everyone who eats a fucking salad in this state should be out of their house and fucking marching. How do you think the produce hits the table? There are families involved .?.?. It should serve as a lesson for a lot of people who would unfortunately rather sit at home and bitch.”