“We have gay marriage? That’s great,” remarked a straight Lisbon native as we stood on the street drinking caipirinhas (a cocktail made with sugarcane rum, muddled lime, and sugar), in the Bairro Alto section of the city.
In 2010, Portugal became the eighth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. And looking around at my fellow revelers — a mixed group of ages, nationalities, and sexual orientations all greeting each other, listening to music, and nattering boisterously — I quickly realized that her surprise had less to do with a lack of awareness and more to do with LGBT rights not being the hyperpoliticized issue they are in the Unites States.
Evening activities start late on weekends: The crowds arrive at the bars around midnight and carry on until the wee hours of the morning. So a few hours later and one neighborhood over in the Principe Real, we decided to hit up two of Lisbon’s gay bars, WoofLX (WoofLX.com), which has an amiable crowd and cute bartenders, and its more provocative cousin, WoofX (Facebook.com/WoofX), which has a dark, fetishy vibe and a backroom.