Oaxaca is largely a conservative city, with traditional customs and religious Catholics. Because of this, displays of homosexual affinity are uncommon in many public places. In fact, many men in Mexico still consider homosexuality disgusting for men, especially in areas outside of resort places or in rural areas. Nevertheless, the city is now more tolerant than it used to, and experiencing gay Oaxaca is something that you should not miss.
In general, locals respect the gay and lesbian community. Once you are in the city, you should not experience any harassment. Just make sure you give due respect to local traditions and customs. Visitors, gay and straight alike, who do not respect Oaxaca’s culture will certainly get some pestering.
There are many places teeming gay activities in Oaxaca. The top gay and gay-friendly bars and clubs include international-looking Club Privado 502 (Porfirio Diaz 502), the relaxed La Chinampa (Bustamante 605) that sells the cheapest beer, and the vibrant Gavana Dance Club (Calzada Porfirio Diaz. No 216). If you are into bathhouses, visit Baños La Fuente (Calle 20 de Noviembre).
One of the events to look forward to in order to have an authentic gay Oaxaca experience is the Marcha Calenda. This year, LGBT group Luzónica celebrates this gay pride event with the motto, “Being Different Is a Right”. There are many travel agencies out there that offer tours and itineraries exclusively for the gay and lesbian travelers. Visit the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association website, www.iglta.org, or contact them at 954/776-2626 or 800/448-8550.