Mexico City Feature

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Gay Bars in Mexico City

Gay and lesbian life in the capital is something of a contradiction. In one of the largest cities in the world—and one that has just now legalized same-sex unions—one would expect a thriving, out-and-proud community. But Mexico isn't like that, and here the gay and lesbian scene is still largely in the shadows.

Personal freedom of choice in Mexico is the companion of money, and so the majority of gays and lesbians, who lack deep pockets, live a closeted, traditional (heterosexual) family lifestyle. When gathering places do appear, they tend to be down and dirty and to be closed down by authorities or swap locations quickly.

Centro's Calle Republica de Cuba was once the closest thing (apart from the anything-goes Zona Rosa in general) D.F. had to a gay neighborhood, and its hole-in-the-wall taverns may at times once again take on that character. The spots listed below are large, well-established institutions. We suggest surfing the Web for the latest hot spots.

Cabaret La Perla. The gritty Cabaret La Perla dates from 1946, and has some of the city's best female impersonators, who sing everything from Madonna to surf punk. Friday and Saturday shows are at 11:30 pm and 1:30 am. Republica de Cuba 44, Col. Centro, Mexico City, 06000. 55/1997-9001.

Patrick Miller. At this high-energy "danceteria," DJs spin ‘80s pop classics, disco, and techno, and the flamboyant patrons compete in theatrical dance-offs. Prepare to sweat. Mérida 17, Col. Roma, Mexico City, 06700. 55/5511–5406. $2.50.

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