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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are Gays Welcome in Argentina? Is it OK to be Openly Gay in Buenos Aires?

We get many emails into this blog asking us about Argentina, and Buenos Aires in particular. People in the US & Europe have been increasingly asking us about whether or not Argentina is a Gay friendly destination... I will put out my guess below, from my experience as a non gay US citizen with lots of Argentina experience, but I wanted to start a discussion here with some expats, travelers, and Argentines on this topic.

What do you think? Are Gays welcome in Argentina? Would they be looked at in a hostile way, or welcomed? Is Buenos Aires more cosmopolitan, and more welcoming than the provinces, or are just certain parts of BA very gay friendly?

I think BA is pretty open to gays, I know several openly gay men and see others frequently, I think here it's like New York, it's not a big deal. I have not heard about how Gays are taken in the provinces though, my guess is that it would be similar to rural US locales, some places would be more curious, and others may range from indifferent to maybe not tolerable. As you can see in this CNN article below, Argentina as a government has Gay friendly policies that are better than the US affords it's Gay citizens, and the IHT article claims Gay tourism is booming in BA. Let us know if you have any unique perspective in the comments below.

More reading on the subject:

Argentina Grants Gay Couples Partner Pensions
Macho Argentina Warms to Gay Dollars and Euros

4 Comments:

Blogger Guille Giova said...

Hey there! I'm a 24 year old porteño, and though I am not gay myself, I have many friends and acquaintances (sp??) in the gay community (a gay uncle and many friends in theater).
For a simple answer, yes, Buenos Aires will welcome you if you are gay, and it is ok to be open about it.
However, I would not compare it to New York. Seeing gay couples is not as common, and people may be a bit more touchy about it. However, the chances of meeting actual hostile treatment are slim to none. As long as you are ok with the occasional stare or frown, you'll be just fine. And finding people who will be friendly towards you regardless of sexual orientation will still be the norm.
As a matter of fact, the city has plenty of gay bars and clubs, and is swarming with night spots that, while they are not gay-only places, are common gay community hangouts and usually host crowds of any sexual orientation in the same night. At any club, when they offer couple discounts on cover charges, gay couples get the same benefit.

So, for short, I wouldn't worry about it. Plenty of gay people live in or visit this city all the time, and while the occational homphobe may be more common than in New York, you are very unlikely to have any problems. Most people will still be friendly, and those who are not won't go beyond treating you in a dry manner.

As the original post say, this varies inside the country. Smaller rural towns may be more hostile to gay people, or different looking people in general. However, most common tourist destinations inside the country will be used to receiving tourists and different sorts of people all the time, and will therefore be trouble-free for you.

In Buenos Aires, I would recommend not restraining yourself to the gay community circuit only, however, if that's your preference, Internet will give you most of the usual gay hangouts, and you'll find a huge amount of gay people in the underground theater crowd if you want to go for a more... umm... "hippie" gay crowd :-)

12/02/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gastón said...

Hi. I am Gaston, and i am a gay 20 yo argie. I guess is no t the same to be gay in Buenos Aires than in the country side... Bueno Aires is really open if you compare it to other latin american cities. I had kissed guys while sitting at the bus and no one even stared on me. there is a good gay scene too. Its quite different from my hometown which is smaller but u can still be free of doing your life.

12/12/2008 04:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
What I can add regarding this issue as a gay porteño therefore, is that Buenos Aires is well known worldwide, ranked within the # 5 gay spots and highly recommended by former visitors to their relationships

I should say that Buenos Aires has been awarded last year as best gay travel destination by Out Traveler Mag , even above other "gay icon-cities" as Barcelona and Amsterdam...

Cheers !
Jorge

5/13/2009 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger david said...

I think Argentina is one of the most "gay-friendly" places in the world.. my boyfriend is from BA and i spend a lot of time there (im from the U.S). We commonly walk together through the city streets as well as the town of La Plata and no one gives us a second look. All of our friends are straight married couples and his family is also very accepting. I work in the travel industry and ive been all over the world, i think the only place that approaches this type of freedom would be Paris (2nd place).
As of july of this year (2010) we can even get married!

11/09/2010 06:43:00 PM  

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