Latin America's Gay-Friendly Capital Cities
By Paul Rubio
As our nation’s capital celebrates the end
of DOMA and the recent victory of gay marriage, we look at some
of our other favorite capital cities in the
After Mexico City legalized gay marriage in 2009, the Supreme Court gave two snaps to all 31 Mexican States in August 2010, mandating legal recognition of the new homo-holy matrimony. Now, same-sex couples are letting go of Mexico as a media punching bag and discovering a freakishly progressive nation shaped around the archaeological and cultural remains of historically revered civilizations. In the vast melting pot known as Mexico City, street corners teem with the diversity of the city’s 20 million plus inhabitants, commingling the best of Spanish and ancient Mesoamerican legacies. The city’s offerings are as exciting as they are unexpected. Steel-stomached thrill seekers should go not miss the awesome street food –tostadas at the market at Coyoacán, Mexico City’s signature tacos al pastor on random street corners (shaved pork with red sauce and onion, cilantro and pineapple), and nopales con queso (tender cactus leaves grilled and topped with melted cheese) at random holes in the wall. But even if you can handle the street eats, don’t drink the tap water – it’s a surefire way to kill any potential hook ups!
Costa Rica is a magnificent, gay-friendly country with an impeccable tourism infrastructure, satisfying the Gringo hunger for adventure and tropical beauty. Everyday life is defined by “pura vida,” a saying and philosophy meaning pure life, which guides ticos (Costa Ricans) in their amicable interactions with visitors. Though San Jose is a hard sell as a stand-alone city break, it surely fun enough for a two-day visit en route to greener Costa Rican pastures, especially considering it has six gay venues in the confines of a small city. Most clubs in San Jose charge a cover of roughly $7 to $10 US dollars, which grants entry and barra libre (open bar) until 1 or 2 am. Yes - drink all you want for one flat price and the Costa Rican guys are always ready to party! Costa Rica has yet to legalize gay marriage but the “pura vida” lifestyle has always guided this Central American gem as a liberal refuge in a homophobic isthmus.
Just ten years ago, Peruvians could hardly imagine a country hospitable to the long- shunned homosexual lifestyle. As quickly as Peru’s economy has grown since the dawn of the millennium, the country’s mentality has begun to follow the progressive footsteps of neighboring Brazil and nearby Argentina. By no means will Peru legalize gay marriage in the near future, but this new period of transition means gays no longer have to emigrate to Miami and Mexico City for refuge, and that opportunities for the national GLBT population and the visiting LGBT traveler are greater than ever! At the center of the country’s economic revolution, Lima has cleaned up its act and offers big city sophistication including a handful of gay bars and clubs, gastronomic sanctuaries, pristine parks, and Starbucks on every corner. The oceanfront Miraflores neighborhood, one of the swankier spots in town, is by no means a gayborhood but it’s definitely the place to be in Lima.
European architecture, rich cultural offerings, and affluence
that characterized Buenos Aires during its Renaissance years
circa early 1900s rightfully branded the city, Paris of the
Southern Hemisphere. For the first half of the 20th century,
Buenos Aires shined as an epicenter of opulence in a gargantuan
landmass extending from the icy periphery of Antarctica to the
lush mountains of the sub-equator and the barren lands of
Patagonia. Despite decades of dramatic economic cycles,
political turmoil, and devastating currency devaluation in 2001,
the posh neighborhood, Recoleta, prevails unscathed. Recoleta
remains the hub of high society, home to the classical French
and Spanish buildings that bestow