13 Jun Being LGBTQ in Mexico
Being LGBTQ+ in Mexico
Mexico has made significant strides in recent years to promote acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community. In 2010, Mexico City legalized gay marriage, making it the first jurisdiction in Latin America to do so. Since then, other states have followed suit. However, just how safe is it to be queer in Mexico? Does the law protect or discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community? What are some queer-friendly cities? Let’s explore together.
Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage in 2010 as well as the possibility to adopt children. By December 2022, however, it was all of Mexico. In regards to hate crimes, Mexico also has laws to protect LGBTQ+ people by making it illegal to discriminate against a person based on their sexuality, gender, and/or gender expression. Trans people are specially considered in that they may change their gender on official ID such as birth certificates or identification cards. In regards to healthcare, In 2019 Mexico did take steps to include gender-affirming care within the medical industry. Mexico remains a deeply religious and conservative country, so yes, there are many places the queer community can go to feel safe, but discrimination is still widely felt in certain areas of Mexico and machismo is still prevalent in all industries.
In 2019, the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz created the first specialized clinic in the country to provide care for transgender people. Additionally, many private clinics and hospitals now offer specialized care for the LGBTQ+ community.
However, there are still significant disparities in healthcare access and quality for transgender and non-binary people in particular. Many healthcare providers may lack knowledge or understanding of issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation, which can result in inadequate care.
LGBT-friendly Cities and Neighborhoods
When you do find the queer scene in Mexico, it is absolutely vibrant and thriving. Mexico City is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the country. The Zona Rosa being the most well-known area, bursting with bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater specifically to the Rainbow community. Condesa and Roma neighborhoods are also very popular among LGBTQ+ expats and locals alike. Other cities in Mexico that will have LGBTQ+ nightlife, restaurants, and neighborhoods include Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and Tijuana. It’s always a good idea to do some research beforehand, by checking social media like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for clues on where to go and where it’s safe.
Cultural differences queer expats might experience
Mexican culture in general is incredibly welcoming, warm, and friendly. That being said, there are many factors that might need navigating when in Mexico as a queer individual. First of all, the vocabulary for identities and pronouns will not always be transferable to the Spanish language or Mexican culture. For example while in English there may be the inclusion of not only a third but fourth or fifth pronoun (etc etc), in Spanish there is no third pronoun and most people even within the community are still working with including other pronouns and identities. However, there are cultural aspects deeply ingrained into the Mexican indigenous community that include and understand gender representations outside of the colonized perspective. Other important factors to consider include traditional gender roles are still quite applied, religion is a strong and present influence, and LGBTQ visibility in media is still painfully lacking. Add to that cultural tensions due to gentrification and racism, and there is a lot to be weary about.
In conclusion, there is still no perfect country that accepts the LGBTQ+ community and keeps it completely safe, but Mexico has implemented laws that are the minimum baseline, and combined with the rich culture and warmth of its people, it isn’t hard to find a place where you are welcomed. And today and always, here at Expats in Mexico, know that we see and appreciate every one of our readers in any and all gender expressions and sexualities.