The recent news that Mexico’s Supreme Court has overturned a law that prevented same sex marriages in the state of Oaxaca is bloody amazing. I mean, it’s so obviously the right thing and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why. But still, it’s important because many parts of the world are struggling with LGBT equality and every state that gives a nod to gay marriage is a step in the right direction.
I visited Oaxaca a couple of years ago, and it’s a trip that provided me with a bucketful of amazing memories. The small city in South Mexico was hardly overrun with gays, nor did it have a very visible gay scene, so I’m kind of surprised that this is the place where gay marriage has been on the political agenda. Cities like Guadalajara and Puebla have far more developed gay scenes than Oaxaca. Not to be put off, I did my darndest to uncover any signs of gay life in Oaxaca while I was there.
Three cheers for the lesbians of Oaxaca.
So, Friday night, and the next day I was set to take three flights to get back home – the perfect time to explore some provincial gay bars, right? Errr, right. In the afternoon, my friend and I found a stall in Oaxaca’s Zocalo selling amazing Lucha Libre wrestling masks, so I obviously bought ten. Yes ten. We bought some super cheap beers from somewhere close by and danced to Cheryl Cole on our hotel balcony, singing at the top of our lungs while wearing wrestling masks. The perfect tourists. Not annoying in the slightest.
Gay party time. We sashayed out into the night, only to realise that it was 7pm and the gay club, which we weren’t entirely convinced would open at all, most definitely wouldn’t be open for another few hours. With no other gay bar on the radar, we followed our noses to the first place where we could find a space to dance, and whaddayknow? – the gay stars aligned and we got chatting to a couple of homos in this establishment. We drank mezcal, we danced. The proof is in the image below. Well that’s not actually me, but one of the Mexican gays and my friend.
My friend and I had heard about Oaxaca’s only gay club (I say “heard”, it was actually rabid Googling on my part), Privado 502, and that you had to knock on the window to get in, so we were mighty pleased that we had some new found amigos that could lead the way. And yes, once we got there, there was no sign on the door, and I’m pretty sure we would have never braved that knock on the window if we weren’t in the company of a pair of locals. Although we did actually have a substantial amount of mezcal in our bellies. Once inside, it was like being in somebody’s front room. A small dance floor, a small bar – only the bare minimum of what is required to call a club a club. But regardless, I thought it had charm, and me and my travel chum partied until everyone was kicked out. I kissed a homo, she kissed a homo. Everyone wins. Especially Oaxaca.
The inside of Club Privado 502…
(FYI, there is apparently now a new gay club in Oaxaca. But Club Privado 502 was the only at the time. So there. If you fancy a trip to Club Privado 502 yourself, you’ll be able to find it on Porfirio Diaz #502)