A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Here’s a guest article by my friend Alison Soloman of Cheap Travel Made Easy. Part Two of this article will appear next week. To read all the articles on gay Mexico on this site, choose “Gay Mexico” from the Categories list on the right-hand sidebar. — Rosana

If you’re regular readers of this blog, then you know that life for expats in Mexico can be happy, frustrating, energizing, exhausting, relaxing, busy – in other words, whatever you make it.  But have you wondered what it’s like if you’re gay or lesbian?  Have you had a concern that since this is a country where the vast majority of folks are practicing Catholics, you might not be welcomed?

If so, it’s time to put your worries to rest.  The Mexican laissez-faire attitude of live and let-live certainly applies to this issue as well.  My partner and I moved to Mexico three years ago.  In this article we’ll tell you about gay life in general and in the next article, we’ll introduce you to some of our friends.

Have you assumed that gays and lesbians would probably keep a low profile here?  If so, think again!  Although this article will focus on the two biggest cities – Guadalajara and Mexico City, even in small villages it’s easy to spot out gays and lesbians.  While I can’t vouch for what their parents think, I can say that they clearly don’t feel the need to hide themselves.   Where we live there is a large expat community and within that community there are a considerable number of gay and lesbian couples.  We don’t have any venues just for us – bars, nightclubs, etc – but that’s because we don’t need them.  If we want to dance together, we do.  If we want to walk arm-in-arm we do.  And if we really have the urge to be just with our own, we can hop in the car and drive 40 minutes to Guadalajara where there are gay bars galore.  Indeed some consider Guadalajara to be the “San Francisco” of Mexico for gays.   And certainly if you walk through Costco or Soriana (the local supermarket) on a weekend alongside straight families doing their weekly shopping, you’ll see numerous obviously gay couples doing theirs too.

The annual gay pride event in Guadalajara draws thousands of participants with its gaudy, over-the-top, display of dressed-up, made-up, leathered-up, hip-gyrating gorgeous men.  What you won’t see are some of the most popular groups from north of the border – no dykes-on-bikes, lesbian moms or PFLAG (parents and friends of  lesbians and gays.)  This isn’t a political statement, it’s a celebration for the boys to be girls, and like so many other Mexican fiestas it’s loud, colorful and exuberant.

In Mexico City, gays and lesbians have even more of a presence.  Go to the Zona Rosa quarter and you’ll think you’re in West Hollywood or Key West.  Along with Starbucks and McDonalds are dozens of storefronts festooned with rainbow flags, shops selling everything from sex toys to gay magazines and restaurants for looking, cruising and more.  These venues aren’t inexpensive, and as with so much of gay culture, there’s a far stronger male presence than female.  There’s also a fair amount of gay life in the Condessa and Roma neighborhoods.  But check out http://www.machamexico.com, for a vibrant blog about the lesbian scene in Mexico city.

13 Responses to “Living the Gay Expat Life in Mexico”

  • Anna says:

    Hello, thank you so much for your compliments about Macha Mexico! We’re going to be adding a lot more local content this August, as well as information about gay and lesbian destinations outside of Mexico City.

    I’ll go back to exploring your blog, now. Glad to have found it!

    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Gay Pride in Oaxaca =-.

  • M H. says:

    im irish and my partner is american.  considering moving to Mexico…worried about homophobic aspect.  where are the safest places to live for 2 mature women please?

  • Rosana says:

    I don’t think anywhere in Mexico is very safe right now and I can’t really recommend moving there. Read the forums at chapala.com and mexconnect.com, subscribe to the English language paper the Guadalajara Reporter at guadalajarareporter.com and form your own opinions but from what expat friends who are still there tell me, things are getting dicey, both where we used to live by Lake Chapala and in many other parts of the country. I’m planning to do a bit of research and a new post on this site eventually but for now, I would say that the increase in violent crime, kidnappings, and murders, makes Mexico not such a good option. Gay or straight not pertinent to this, so far as I know. Most of the crime so far IS directed at Mexicans but I still wouldn’t want to live there now. Think about Costa Rica and other countries.

  • John Scherber says:

    My new book is not specifically about the gay lifestyle in
    Mexico, but in my travels talking to expats in out of the way places, I discovered a remarkable number of gays living satisfying lives in tolerant, but not well-known, communities. The book is called, Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off the Beaten Path. A sample is available on my website.


  • Rosana Hart says:

    Thanks, John, it looks interesting. I liked Pozos!

  • Stephen Eaglin says:

    I wanted info on joining your group

  • SJC2Dominguillo says:

    There is no group.

  • John Steven says:

    The places with expat communities that can be supportive if your language and cultural knowledge are limited include: Puerto Vallarta [not good weather for year round living but great for winter) Guadalajara (all the plus and minus of a big city), nearby lake chapala , san Miguel de allende (lots of cultural life in English – gay life maybe a little more limited than larger cities but not non-existent) Nearby to SMA, Queretaro is a larger city, some expat and Europeans living there but you should probably be fairly fluent to try it. It is only a 3 hour bus ride to Mexico city to occasionally enjoy all it has to offer. Also Guanajuato is a quaint, charming University city with plenty of cultural life and plenty of gay people, although maybe more closetted than other places. Cuernavaca has the best weather -eternal spring time – and close to Mexico city to enjoy everything there on day trips or long weekends, large fairly open gay population. Cuernavaca is no longer the charming playground of the wealthy from Mexico city it once was – it had some crime and economic set backs – but it has bounced back some. It is a fairly large metropolitan area with advantages and disadvantages that go with that. Good doctors and hospitals, bad maintenance of public works, lots of cultural life, big malls(it has a Bed bath and beyond) etc. Mexico city is very big, very crowded, pollution problems etc. but oh so exciting. Oxxacca, good weather and culture, some expats. On the Yucatan peninsula there is Merida and Cancun, hot humid summers like Puerto Vallarta, but Merida is a medium sized colonial town with some cultural life and active gay life, though probably not for year round living. Mexican Crime is not as bad as the American news media makes it sound, unless you plan to get involved in drugs and drug trafficking. It can be like any large USA city, you need to exercise some common sense and unless you are in the wrong place at the wrong and get very unlucky, (which can happen anywhere in the world) you will be fine. Yes, there are horror stories to be heard, but percentage wise, I don’t think Mexico is any worse than the state’s, and maybe even a little safer in some respects. These are all the places I have lived (4 of the above) or spent significant time in. Others can maybe comment on other towns.

  • SJC2Dominguillo says:

    Thanks for your comments!

  • Terry Sanchez says:

    Hi, I am thinking about moving to Mexico from California. I really like the area between the airport and PV. Some of my friends that live here from Mexico have said many people move there and move back to the USA in three months. I do know that is the case with some people especially with the challenge of finding a job there and the high and low seasons which can cause financial stress. I also know they enjoy getting free insurance and not paying taxes (they do not have documents) while living here so they do not really experience life in the USA like I do. My plan is to retire in Mexico so not worried about working there. For the Expats living in PV do you ever regret moving there?

  • Jeanne says:

    Can anyone comment on LGBT experiences living in San Miguel De Allende?


  • SJC2Dominguillo says:

    Ask in San Miguel websites which you can find by searching for them.

  • SJC2Dominguillo says:

    We loved our time there but ultimately moved back to the US for family reasons mainly.

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