Mexico City, also known as Distrito Federal, or D.F., is one of the biggest cities in the world. It's located in the Valley of Mexico, on top of what used to be a large lake, surrounded by mountains. Sometimes, depending on where you are in the city/ how bad the pollution is, you can even see the mountains! The city is divided in to 16 delegaciones (boroughs) and who knows how many hundreds of colonias (neighborhoods). Fun fact: people who live in D.F. are known as chilangos or defeños.

The Gay Situation

Mexico City is, in many ways, the gay capital of Mexico (the other competitor for this title is Guadalajara, but I've never been there, so I can't say). It's large and cosmopolitan, which tends to ensure that people will be open-minded. Queer people here enjoy a whole host of important rights: same-sex marriage is legal in D.F., same-sex couples can jointly adopt children, trans* people can change their gender on legal documents. In Zona Rosa you are sure to find cute queer couples canoodling and kissing, but you won't look at all out of place holding hands with your sweetie in Condesa or Roma, either. Even in my very boring, un-cool neighborhood (Navarte), I occasionally see queer couples. Most parts of D.F. are, if not gay-friendly, then at least gay-tolerant. However, it's a big and diverse city, and what is fine in one neighborhood may not be considered acceptable in another. I've only recommended places in this guide that I think you can confidently go to while being queer; but when visiting new parts of the city, you should make a quick judgement of your surroundings before you start making out with your girlfriend.

These are some of the neighborhoods you'll want to know while you're here:

Centro Histórico, which is crowded and old and filled with historic buildings, but which also has a lot of cool stuff to do if you know where to find it.

Roma and Condesa, D.F's trendy / hipster / yuppie neighborhoods, where you'll find a lot of the best bars and coffee shops and such.

Coyoacán, the former home of Frida Kahlo, which used to be its own town and now is one of the quieter, more idyllic parts of the city.

Zona Rosa is a strange mix of gay clubs, sex shops, and fast food stores, frequented both by queers and by the business people who work on nearby Reforma. It's not for everyone, but it's the place to be if you want to find fellow queers.

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