viernes, 16 de septiembre de 2011


The gay atmosphere in Ecuador can be one of the most interesting experiences.   Someone who is willing to learn can find in this small country a great diversity in thought forms, behavior and many different types of men and women. Contrary to the heterosexual behavior where the prototype of "beauty" is based on certain characteristics that the same society imposes, in the gay world the concept of beauty is individual. What is beautiful for one, is indifferent for another.

In Ecuador there is a complete diversity in races, ethnicities and physical characteristics: white, black, mulattos, mestizos, indians, tall people, small people, fat, thin, young, adults, old. No one has to be alone for adventures or romance because there is someone for every taste.  Long term gay relationships are rare in Ecuador.

In Quito most gay men prefer to be single.  Most couples have an open relationship; they prefer this type of arrangement so that they are not completely alone. Lesbian relationships tend to be monogamous and long term.

In Guayaquil there are more couples than in Quito, but most relationships are open.   It is necessary to emphasize that in any part of Ecuador this type of relationship is secret. Ecuadorian society doesn´t aprove of this type of union, and generally they are not respected. 

Until 1997, homosexuality was declared a crime by the Constitution. Since the repeal of Articule 516, the GLBTT socialization places have increased substatially (discos, bars, saunas, coffee shops, restaurants) and services for GLBTT like travel agencies, medical services, etc. And GLBTT have formed gay activism organizations such as prevention and help organizations for people living with AIDS.

The Ecuadorian GLBTT also at the moment socializes a lot using the internet. Cruisy places are frequented, but they have also changed. Before the repeal of the Art. 516, places like El Ejido Park in Quito and Amazonas Ave. were used by gays to meet people. These meetings could turn sexual if both parties wanted. At the moment these areas are frequently used by thieves pretending to be gay.  The basic problem that faces the gay movement in Ecuador is that the most gay people are invisible.    There is also a lack of commitment on the part of the GLBTT in fighting for rights, and a strong and deep homofobia among gay people themselves. Due to machismo, the Catholic church, and conservatism that Ecuadorian society has had in the last 500 years, it has been difficult to change people's mentality.

Some gay people here have relationships where one partner takes the feminine role and another the masculine one, but this type of attitude is seen more in classes with a low socio-cultural level.  Because of the strong negative implications of being gay in Ecuador, a great quantity of homosexual men don´t accept themselves as such and deny their sexual orientation. Due to this lack of acceptance, many active (top) gay men feel that they are not gay since he is playing the man's role, and that his partner (the bottom, or passive partner) is actually the gay one.

Different visions also exist on the masculine bisexuality. One that the bisexual one shows off of being male for the simple fact that he also likes women and another that the bisexual one is a homosexual with lack of acceptance of itself. The lesbian women are being organized lately and taking a more preponderant role in society and being integrated more to the activities of the GLBTT community. It is more difficult for Lesbians since they are a doubly discriminated group, one for the fact of being women and another for the fact of being lesbians. And also for the fact that when people talks about homosexuality, the focus is on men.

The media in Ecuador has played an extremely dirty role that has contributed to the stigmatization of  the GLBTT community. Most of the  media in Ecuador when they approach the topic of homosexuality or  sexual diversity, they simply based on empiric things. It is noticed clearly that when one makes a report about Homosexuality, it doesn´t exist a serious and deep investigation on the topic. While more yellowish and more scandalous it is the report, better for the means of communication. They are very few journalists that take the responsibility to give real and truthful information about this topic.

Although in Ecuador it is prohibited to discriminate against someone for his or her sexual orientation, most people still believes that homosexuality is a sin, a deviation and an illness, so most homosexual and lesbians remain invisible.

Some public figures who happen to be gay or bisexual attack homosexuality in their speeches, thus creating a more positive image for themselves, and throwing others off the track so that they themselves won't be discovered.  This creates a stagnation in all the development processes and in the fight for rights that several GLBTT organizations are giving. In  Ecuador, a homosexual with public influence can become the maximum enemy of the GLBTT community.

Another of the characteristics of the Ecuadorian Gay environment is that the homosexual behavior is invisible in its great majority before the rest of the society. That means that in Ecuador a man can not demonstrate affection for another man in public places since these acts are considered as a lack of respect, an attack to the moral order and of good customs.  For example, two men can not walk together holding hands, kisses can not be given, inclusive they can not walk with their arms around each other. In this respect, the Ecuadorian homosexual takes care a lot of his image. While outwardly he maintains a type of heterosexual behavior, better for him. Less problems he will have.

A total confusion also exists for society and of the same GLBTT about what sexual diversity means and the different concepts managed in this environment. Most of the society believes that gays are the whole group of homosexuals, travestíes, trangenders and transexuals. People believe that all homosexual men want to be women, want to be have a sex change operation, they put on makeup or they are effeminate. Society believes falsely that the homosexuals are a completely shunned group, and that homosexuals are lower than drug dealers, robbers, etc.

In the same gay ambient is usually listened versions that the asset is male than the passive one. That the passive one is a woman and things for the style. Some believe that those that make of penetradors are heterosexuals. Frequently it is listened in Ecuadorian homosexuals that prefer to maintain sexual relationships with heterosexuals referring to the penetradors. All this is eliminating little by little with the work of GLBTT organizations that are informing to the community in these aspects and it is noticed that people is changing their mentality about this topic. But exiss the supreme necessity to inform a to the whole society about this thematic, because in Ecuador it is continued managing the concept that the homosexual is an anormal, vicious and unnatural.

Due to the Catholic Religion that dominates the country, homosexuality is managed like a sin, but this same stigma is not managed in the polygamist, promiscuous, alcoholics or thieves. Pitifully the heterosexual structure and politics of the Ecuador presents high degrees of corruption that are not criticized by the same Catholic Church neither for the same evangelical organizations and christian groups that are prevailing lately. In a large part of cases of corruption these organizations are togheter to these political and economical powers. Pitifully so much Catholic priests as evangelical shepherds attack openly to the homosexuality, but around the world is known that those who attacks more to the homosexuals are the same religious with this kind of sexual orientation. They make it for status, to maintain their appearance and benefits. But it is not being surprised to find them in a gay place or socializing by the internet.

For any foreigner, the experience of knowing the Ecuadorian Gay environment will be fascinating.
The Ecuadorian gay environment is a school of life with a lot to learn. In spite of all the problems that it faces the GLBTT community, Ecuadorian people is extremely friendly, but if it is necessary to emphasize to the foreigners of first world countries that take care of gigolos. Foreign people can fascinate for great quantity of handsome young boys that finds to their step, but at the same time they can meet with people, not everyone, that is planning to take out your money.

As Ecuador has different geographical areas it is necessary to point out that human behaviors are different depending on these areas, being a great difference between the behavior of a coastal men one with those of a mountain men one.

The Coastal men are more direct, more thrown, amusing to great scale. They like to dress well. They live moment. The mountain one is amusing and at the same time discreet. He studies a lot to his handout as for being friendship , it is shy, evasive and it generally socializes with closed groups that are near friends. But they are extremely amusing inside gay places.

Guayaquil is one of the most amusing cities as for gay people. Although seemingly it has a macho structure, it is one of the American cities that becomes a paradise for that one who wants to have sexual adventures, to have a good time, to know people quickly. In Guayaquil doesn't exists specific places to socialize. All Guayaquil becomes a cruissing place. So alone coarse to communicate with the look and you will have a new friend in any part of the city specially in touristic areas. The Guayaquileños Gays has a statement that says that " 99% of guayaquileños men skate" (referirring to maintain or to experience homosexual relationships.) 1% remaining is between the old men that are not be able and children that don't still begin".

When "Holiday On Ice" came to Ecuador, its art director said that Guayaquil was the gay craziest city that he had ever known, being a person that had visited 160 countries.

In Manabí the tourist will meet with something different. For the Manabitas men is very normal to have bisexual relationships. There are zone where it exists the belief that so that an adolescent can become "a man " he has to eat up to a " gay " (expressed commonly). Some Ecuadorian gays goes attracted by the fame of the manabitas men. Manabí becomes an exotic place as for sexual adventures , but emphasizing that the manabita never recognizes that he is homosexual, no matter how much several relationships with people of its same sex he had have. He considers to these acts like part of his masculinity.

This is in light features of the Ecuadorian gay atmosphere, with bad and good things, but in anyway it is extremely interesting.
Francisco Guayasamin
Travel Agent & Tour Guide  
Skype: paiscanela

1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

Según lo que observo, y escucho a traves de mis entrevistas muchas personas GLBT expresan inconformidad, por siempre ir a lo mismo, visitar los mismos lugares, y desean poder ir a un restaurant, o a un complejo, teatro, sin sentirme discriminados. Desean variedad en la oferta, que mejore el servicio, etc

Ruth Garcia