Jesus Chairez, known as the “godfather” of Dallas’ LGBT Latino movement, says he’s moving back to Big D from Mexico City, where he’s lived for the last two-and-a-half years. From an e-mail this morning:
I should be in Dallas on September 17th after Mexico’s big party on September 15, which this year celebrates Mexico’s 200 years of Independence from Spain and commemorates 100 years of the Mexican revolution of 1910.
For your information September 16th is Mexico Independence day, but the party always starts on Sept 15th with the GRITO of the current President of Mexico in the Zocalo. I will be in the middle of the Zocalo with thousands of people. This is how I will close my book too, by being here for Mexico’s 200-year anniversary.
About my book that I will be writing: from DFW to DF and back. (DF is how Mexico City is known by Mexicans, it is the Federal District, much like our D.C., it is not a state). It will be a book about my life as a gay Latino, a gay Latino activist that started DFW’s first Latino GLBT group and that started USA’s first Latino GLBT radio show, Sin Fronteras. One that went to the motherland, the land that was my grandparents, and returned.
I would have left on Sept 16th but I don’t want to fly with a hangover. I will be in Dallas for the Pride Parade, too — YEA.
We’ve posted Chairez’s goodbye letter to Mexico City below. He says he plans to stay in Dallas until he gets the book written, but may then travel elsewhere, perhaps to Buenos Aires. Welcome back for now, Santo Gay.
Adios to living in Mexico City
My tour in México City (DF) has been fantastic and enlightening — and I can sincerely say it was one hell of a FIESTA and one big CRUDA.
I moved to DF where I got more cultured in the Mexican way of life, where I learned that being Texican, Tex-Mex, is NOT Mexican — there is a difference.
In a lot of ways, living in DF was a culture shock, the food (no Tex-Mex), the customs and no Spanglish: If I tried to mix a sentence with English and Spanish I was not understood and thought strange.
The word Latino and most especially Hispanic does not exist here. The whole time I was here I never heard these two words to identify one, unless it was used by a visiting friend from Texas.
I found it fascinating how I had been such a Latino activist in Dallas and then when I moved to México City I was now considered a GRINGO — no kidding.
I often got the nickname gringo and or güero, two common words I, as a Latino, would call white folks back home. I found my nicknames most interesting because I didn’t every consider myself white, but those words have nothing to do with being white.
So I learned that in México, a gringo or güero has nothing to do with color, but with culture North of the Rio Grande. I think my nicknames had a lot to do with my Texas twang in speaking Spanish — “Como Estan Y’all?”
From Dallas to México City’s trendy bohemian Col. Roma and then to el Corazon de Col. Santa Maria la Ribera — it was all grand. I met some remarkable and inspiring people from all around the world, developing some incredible friendships that will last for a lifetime.
I adore México City and often pinched my Latino hairless nalgas to see if I was awake: making sure that it was not a dream – living in the city I so much admired after first arriving in the BIG enchilada during the Christmas holiday of 1986.
What open my eyes to moving was when my obsessive, prying, meddlesome, snooping, busybody, interfering, hmmm, did I forget a name? Yes, GREEDY landlady raised my rent 400% when my contract expired — this for a torn up junky apartment that she couldn’t rent until I moved into the place and fixed it up.
Though we settled on just a 100% increase, my landlady’s action got me to thinking: why stay in México City? I am retired, I have a pension, I have good health and I am still young enough to move around with ease: So I can live and travel most anywhere in the world.
So with that thought in mind, I decided to leave México City, the land that was my grandparents, and venture back to be Dallas based to write my first book. Once completed — I will venture out once again, next stop, I don’t know exactly yet but Buenos Aires seems to be calling my name.
I will miss the vibrant life that is México City: Chapultepec Park, the bike, walk and skate Sunday’s on Paseo de la Reforma, Xochimilco, La Zona Rosa, Col. Roma & Col. Condesa, Centro Historico, the Zocalo, Bellas Artes, Alameda park, the cool bars on Repulica de Cuba, my lovely cantinas, my sidewalk cafés, the weekly tianguis in my hood, my lovely Mercado’s, my comida GARNACHA (street food) where I got a fill of Vitamin T: Tacos, Tortas, Tlacoyos, Tortillas, Tinga and of course Tequila.
And of course I will miss my charismatic neighborhood, Col. Santa Maria la Ribera: I will miss the many fun and passionate parties that I had on my loggia — a place where I met the famous and infamous. I will miss my Mexican, Russian, Spanish, Japanese cafes and the long-established cantina — Salon Paris.
I will miss the park in front of my house: the parque Alameda Santa Maria la Ribera with the lovely 100+ year Kiosko Marisco only yards away. A park that I could see and people watch from my big and lovely loggia.
Col. Santa Maria la Ribera was fun in a quirky and eccentric sort of way, a must see when visiting DF.
But I do have to admit though is that what I will miss most about my life in México City is being pampered — with a cleaning lady, a cook, having someone to do my laundry and then folding and ironing. I WILL MISS living the life of a rich white woman.
I do have to thank my landlady for opening my eyes to: I don’t have to plant roots in México City. =Time to start another chapter in my bohemian lifestyle. Though my living in México City is over, my visiting is not — I still love this town.
People know that I sold everything to move to México City and I had to do it again on this move: I learned not to get too attached to things. Buy, enjoy, sell to your friends so they may enjoy them too AND then move. Don’t get attached to things or places: Enjoy and move on.
Adios mi México lindo y querido — I will be back, especially in June, July and AUGUST when it’s HOT in Dallas. Hey, I was just in Dallas in August and I felt like rotisserie chicken the moment I walked outside — HOT.
It is not adios forever: but see you later México City.
PS: Fine points about my journey in México City will come later in my book: So be watching for that.
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