Brokeback Mountain in Mexico?
ZACATECAS, Mexico — All night long, cowboys swaggered into a packed nightclub, dressed to impress in shiny boots, tight Wranglers and wide-brimmed hats.
They had come to throw back tequila and Tecate, to sing along to blasting banda and to dance — chest-to-chest, legs entwined — with each other.
Number one, the story isn't news.Each spring, hundreds of men from across Mexico and the United States make a pilgrimage to this colorful colonial city for an annual gathering of gay vaqueros — or cowboys. At private events held over a long weekend, they share carne asada and traditional folk dances and crown a cowboy king.
...and...With his python boots and plaid shirt unbuttoned to reveal a plush tuft of gray chest hair, Escobar said the idea behind that first party was simple — if a bit self-interested.
"I like to dress like a cowboy," he said, "and I like guys who dress that way, too."
...and...With his jutting jawline and square shoulders, Villalobos looked a little like the Marlboro Man as he greeted the stream of men walking into a bar in downtown Zacatecas on the convention's first night.
...and...Later, when the deejay dropped a bouncing ballad about forbidden love, "La Puerta Negra" by Los Tigres del Norte, Garcia pulled Renteria onto the floor. They embraced as they swayed to the music, each with a hand around the small of the other's back.
They showed a picture of the men on plastic toys in the pool.Courtships bloomed at the bar, in line for tacos and next to a table overflowing with cookies and cake. On one hot afternoon, many men stripped down to trunks and jumped into a pool, lounging on floating plastic toys.
At least 20 municipalities in the Mexican state of Zacatecas have been nearly abandoned because of emigration to the United States.
In an interview with the newspaper El Universal, Ignacio Fraire Zuniga, a representative of the National Institute of Migration (known as INM in Spanish), said the state ranks third in the number of its citizens who have left, after Michoacan and Oaxaca. "If there are one and a half million Zacatecans here," he said, "in the United States there are another million and a half."
Is it all that unusual for a Mexican state that has a lot of cross-cultural influence with the U.S. to have a gay subculture in it?"This exodus should not fill us with pride," he said, "people who migrate to another country never do it for pleasure, but for necessity and it is something we do not want. [Mobility] should be something optional for people and not an obligation to have a better quality of life."
In other words, they're just imported gay cosplay enthusiasts playing cowboy, same as we see among the Village People, or among the denizens of Comicon or Renaissance festivals or the Juggalos, in their elaborate getups.After all, while the event draws actual cowboys — men leathered by long days tending crops or cattle — it also attracts accountants, attorneys and other city folk for whom donning western wear is both a kink and a lifeline to Mexico's rural past.
They're just Brokeback Mountain enthusiasts, which seems thin gruel for a big feature.When the pair met a few years ago, Garcia, who is from Zacatecas, favored shorts and flip-flops. It was Renteria who converted him into a vaquero.
"You don't necessarily have to be from a ranch to be a cowboy," Renteria explained.
Chapo isn't exactly a hero in most of Mexico other than in a few degraded ghetto subcultures. That's not going to go over well, LAT.Cowboy culture is deeply ingrained in the Mexican psyche, with many of the country's most iconic historical figures — revolutionary fighter Francisco "Pancho" Villa, singer Pedro Infante, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán — known for a tough country style.
Memo to LAT: That's states, not provinces. Mexico doesn't have provinces.Here in the provinces, there's no question that queerness is still taboo.