Jan 7, 2006, 9:48 AM
Post #9 of 36
Jeez Palomares, I think you are like the person who proclaims over and over that they have lots of friends who are gay. I'll bite though, since no one else has.
Re: [Miguel Palomares] Gay life in Mexico
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What I think the attitude in Mexico is could more rightly be called indifference. In the US, the born again freaks have elevated the discourse to a major war and it is difficult for anyone to be neutral or indifferent to the issue. Here in Mexico, most people really don't give a sh*t as long as it doesn't personally effect them. Ok, so your 'friend' has been drummed out of his family, perhaps the pressure on him to conform is huge but I doubt that the family will really turn their back on him. They would prefer that he marry, have children and conform and that is the solution that many Mexican's take. It doesn't change their sexual orientation but it makes the family happy, keeps the birthrate up and since every Mexican man is expected to have a casa chica of some sort, no one is looking to see who lives there.
Recently in a small village outside of Chetumal, some friends were invited to a xmas eve fiesta. While sitting in the plaza with the entire population present our friend noticed a very effeminate man and asked her hostess if it was a man or a woman. The hostess replied that it was a man, but not really. When asked if he had problems because of it, she replied 'Oh no, he is from here, we all love him'.
There is also Juan Gabriel, a singer beloved by all Mexicans who is as big a queen as Little Richard ever hoped to be.
Another point to think about, Sr Palomares, now that you are Mexican. In this country, it is not both parties to a sexual act that are considered to be gay. Only the 'catcher' is defined as such and many a macho straight mexican man will 'pitch' when the opportunity arises.
The situation for gay women is different in many ways and, as is true of everything else here, it is more difficult. I have seen quite a few gay women in villages across the Republic and talked to a few of them. In general, the same attitude continues in that they are loved by their families and by their village but life is still not easy. They are used as the perennial maiden aunt who does a lot of babysitting and who stays home and takes care of the padres. They are sometimes pressured to marry but the ones I've seen are very, very butch and dress and act like a man so that question probably doesn't come up much. I know one in QRoo who moved to the coast, to Akumal, to get work. She hangs out in the 'concha' where the guys all hang after work, shoots hoops, drinks beer and seems to deal with the BS and teasing thrown around. No other girls/women will go to that part of the concha in the evenings, the men there are too rude. A couple years ago she had a gorgeous young woman living with her. She told me she had stolen her from her village and that she was hiding from her brothers. This is a pretty common way for the local mayans to marry, they steal the girl and hide from the brothers until it is too late. I asked if she still had her girl when we arrived this year and someone said that she had gone back home but there was another one here now. Not bad.
Of course, as in most of the world, there are many more gay women than is easily seen by looking at them. They are as invisible here in Mexico as in most places. Same for most gay men, without visual clues and without a camera in their bedroom, you won't know. I don't see the witch hunts and constant denouncements here in Mexico that I do in the US.
Traveling around as 2 women we often get questions from locals about not having a man with us. If it is women asking, I tell them I do have a man and introduce them to my dog "hombre". They always laugh. I then tell them that we only call him 'Bray' in Mexico because the men get so uptight about a dog with no huevos named hombre. They laugh even harder at that. They understand who we are but it is not important and it is not a problem.
Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán