Feelings run strong in this administration about foreign countries. During the campaign, one country – and its people – especially stood out. We had to wonder: what is Mexico really like? I decided to take a leap of faith and travel from our nation’s capital to that one to find out. As my plane glided over the border, nothing much changed, though this was at 40,000 feet up. The dry, sun-baked landscape below did not turn into some kind of crime-infested morass, and there was certainly no wall. It remained to be seen what ground-level looks would be like, but regardless, I was on a journey to discover and explore gay Mexico City and its culture, nightlife, leisure activities, and yes, gay scene.
As the waning days of President Barack Obama’s term came to a close, so did my time working for that administration. I had life decisions to make. Should I stay in the capital city and become part of the opposition? Find an opportunity in the private sector and forget about politics? Leave the city entirely and live on the beach? Most importantly, where should I take my post-administration vacation? After nixing New York (too close!), Montreal (too cold!), and London (I’m on a budget here), I decided on the biggest close city that, until recently, many had overlooked — Mexico City.
Having served the government in our capital city, I felt it only logical to visit our neighbor’s. A sprawling metropolis of 25 million people, Mexico City’s enormity is hard to fathom, even more so coming from our cozy town of less than a million residents. But landing on the New York Times list of 52 places to visit in 2017, and having friends willing to lend a couch, I decided to set off south of the border.
While the previous administration had promoted “pivot to Asia” policies, the current administration has been laser-focused on revisiting our relationship with Mexico, having called Mexicans “criminals” and vowing to separate our two countries with a wall it wouldn’t pay for. Firsthand research was the only way to dig to the bottom of what gay Mexico City is really like.