Gay Oaxaca is very discreet but yet vibrant. The city has several gay bars and at least one nightclub. I say ‘at least’ because of the secretive nature of the gay scene that still exists in the city. I have been told there are 8 gay bars in Oaxaca. Many gay bars are sill unmarked and not advertised, you need to find a local willing to introduce you to the gay nightlife in Oaxaca or you would probably assume it doesn’t exist.
Club Privado 502 is one such gay nightclub in the gay Oaxaca scene. While it’s widely known to be a gay club, the outside still remains very discrete. In its early days, and even today, it’s simply known as ‘el número’, but today it does have a sign. Previously the club was word-of-mouth and you needed to know the secret knock to enter the doors.
Cerveceria Chinampa is the oldest gay bar in Oaxaca. The bar is a tavern style and a bit on the seedy side. Cerveceria Chinampa can be found at Calle Bustamante 603 in centro.
Bar Luna Rosa in centro is a typical beer bar and the gay bar where the guys take their BFF female friends so it has a mix of clients. Because of its central location and typical bar atmosphere, it’s an after work stop. It can be found at Mariano Matamoros 302.
Because of the secretive nature of the gay scene in Oaxaca, it has always been difficult to provide accurate information. Bars move, change names, or one day decide they don’t want to be a gay bar any longer.
A lot of men identify as ‘curious’ or ‘bisexual’. Gay cruising, anonymous sex in public places, in Oaxaca is very popular in public restrooms around the city. Getting picked up in the Zócalo (town square) isn’t uncommon either. Most gay men in Oaxaca tend to enjoy the gay cruising scene or hookups on gay apps. The gay app used the most is Grindr in the area. You won’t find anyone on Hornet or Scruff near by. Growing in popularity is the gay app ‘Blued’, offering a lot of features.
While the gay scene has changed over the years, the attitude of gay men in Oaxaca is still very-much in the closet. Meeting gay men on Grindr in Oaxaca is a possibility, but most profiles will simply be a landscape photo or feet. Chances are, even if someone messages you they will refuse to send any face photos. So if you require a face photo and proof of attractiveness, your chances have fallen by 50%.
Once you find the loophole into the gay scene in Oaxaca, it’s very vibrant with friendly local guys. It is forever changing with just a core staple of reliable bars that have been around for several years.
Because of the discreet nature of the gay Oaxaca scene, many bars and nightlife in Oaxaca many places blur the line and the city is welcoming to all. The gay locals just haven’t learned this yet. Oaxaca is a very welcoming place for all travelers, including the LGBT community.