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Argentina Travel: BA's Going Gay
Buenos Aires, the capital of the land of tango and macho gauchos, is going gay. Exhibit A in the transformation is the newly opened Axel Hotel, the first specifically-for-gay-customers property to open in the city. And though it offers up a marketing campaign featuring much racier photos than the hotel-provided pic above, the Axel isn't driving the change in attitudes. Instead, says Alexei Barrionuevo in the New York Times, the hotel is the result of a newly open society.
This summer the city hosted a soccer World Cup for gay players, soon after a TV dating show made waves by showing gay men kissing on camera. Five years ago, BA legalized same-sex unions. Before that, Argentina's president declared equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation. And as Buenos Aires warms, gay travelers have started dropping by. Trying to capitalize on the tourism boomlet, of course, is the Axel Hotel.
That said, there's more to see than the hotel. Partiers of any orientation are welcome at Kim y Novak, a grungy bar with nothing but debauchery on its blog. Downtown, Palacio Alsina draws a mixed crowd with its drag queen hostess and go-go dancers. And mega-club Amerika is still the gold standard for those into the gay clubbing scene.