Home' LOTL : March 2007 Contents 42
I don’t know how I’ll keep up with these four
lesbianas who’ve agreed to show me the nightlife
of Mexico City. They never stop dancing. They
flirt with each other, switching partners so fast it
makes my head spin. They rub up against the gay
boys, gyrating their hips and smiling seductively.
They surround me till I’m in the middle of a lesbian
sandwich, all of us squished together and moving
to the beat.
We’re at Safari, one of the Cabarétito bars
(cabaretito.com) in the Zona Rosa entertainment
district. The place is packed on a Sunday night
with a mixed crowd where gender and orientation
are fluid and everybody is fair game. One of our
gang is a screamer – when her favorite songs
come on, which is often, she lets out a gut-
wrenching roar like a woman in labour. I make it
through a few more tunes and then collapse at a
table, while my friends keep grooving.
These are exhilarating days in Mexico and there’s
a lot to celebrate. Last year the Mexico City
government passed a registered partnership or
Convivencia law, allowing same-sex couples to
sign up and get inheritance rights. It’s already
illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual
orientation. Lesbian gatherings, like the Dyke
March (marchalesbica.org.mx), bring women
together to celebrate and campaign for equal
rights (see also eventoslesbicos.tk).
Mexico City has the biggest lesbian scene, but
there are plenty of cool women, beautiful beaches
and cultural wonders all over the country. Scenic
Cuernavaca, a couple of hours from the capital,
is the home of Cetlalic, a queer-positive Spanish
school where you can learn the language along
with Mexican lesbian history (cetlalic.org.mx). Meet
local gals among the mixed crowd at Barecito
(geocities.com/barecito), and enjoy the owner’s
collection of artwork celebrating the female body.
In little-known Juchitán, southeast of Oaxaca,
Mexican machismo is turned upside-down by
Zapotec native traditions, where women rule.
Men like to be dominated by larger wives who are
admired for their sensuality and lack of inhibition.
Also highly valued are the third gender or Muxe
members of the community, who are similar, but not
identical, to our transvestites and transgender folk.
Local Muxe, Amaranta Gómez made international
headlines in 2003 when she ran for Congress in
the face of intense religious opposition.
For centuries women have travelled to Isla Mujeres
(“Island of Women”), near Cancun, where pilgrims
prayed to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility
and the moon. There’s not much left of the sacred
spot on the south tip of the island, but the view is
spectacular. Visitors can stay in the tourist town
on the north end and rent bicycles or scooters
to explore the entire island. The middle section,
where locals live and shop, has more of a Mexican
Another welcoming island is tiny Isla Holbox,
near the isolated north side of Quintana Roo.
There’s not a lot to do but stroll the quiet streets
of the village, lie on the beach or ride around the
wilderness park in a golf cart. At night you can
dine on seafood or enjoy the surprising variety
of Italian restaurants. In the main plaza or zócalo
you’ll see local children playing with firecrackers
and you might run into Rusbel, a popular young
gay Mexican about town. Lesbians are warmly
received at Posada Mawimbi (www.mawimbi.net),
a beachside hotel at the
edge of the village.
Also on the Yucatan
peninsula, Merida is
a pleasant city full
of archite ctural and
cultural delights. Historic
churches, museums and
monuments chronicle the
past, while a huge market
Mayan life. One of the
loveliest zócalos in the
country provides hours
pleasure. Casa Ana
(casaana.com) is a lesbian
friendly guest house.
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