Postcards from Mexico: At the bookstore

The latest missive from our correspondent in Mexico, Jesus Chairez:

MÉXICO CITY — I love going into small bookstores to find treasures in the Big Enchilada. It’ll be a sad day when we go all-digital. For instance, I walked into Bodet, a small orderly bookstore located in Col. Santa Mara la Ribera, a bohemian, on-the-rise neighborhood. As I browsed, a book title glanced from the corner of my eye grabbed my attention: Cocina par Gays — Cooking for Gays. How did they mean it? A cookbook of recipes for gay people, or a way for heteros to prepare meals for their queer guests? Santa Maria added it first gay bar six months ago, so was Bodet preparing for the gays in the neighborhood?

I asked Bernardo Plasencia, Bodet’s owner, what it meant. He giggled and said, “I think gays know how to cook, so I thought, a gay cookbook for heterosexuals that have gay friends coming over for dinner — cool. Mexicans being helpful and thoughtful. I couldn’t help but think, ‘But where is the cookbook for lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals or even a cookbook for gay Latinos, something I could give as Christmas presents to my gringo friends?’”

One salad recipe in the book caught my attention: Ensalada de besos, or “salad of kisses.” It’s made with asparagus, strawberries, cubes of cheese — your choice. Yep, something I know I would just love to eat.

Among the other recipes, nothing seemed unusual, just regular graceful appetizers, salads, soups, entrées and desserts. And as the cover says, “Recetas fáciles y creativa (creative and easy recipes).”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Postcards from Mexico: Lesbian wedding

Here’s the latest from Jesus Chairez:

MÉXICO CITY — I went to my first lesbian wedding ever last month … and it happened here in México City. The women getting married weren’t Mexican, or even Latina, but gringas. The very gay wedding of Cristina Potters and Judith McKnight (center) was held in their charming apartment in México City’s chic neighborhood Col. Condesa on July 22.

What struck me as fascinating was the guest list. Those who came to see included México City’s first lesbian couple to marry, Lol Kin Castañeda Badillo (left) and Judith Vázquez Arreola (right), who wed when México City’s same-sex marriage law took effect on March 4, 2010.

So I wondered: How do two retired, mature, easy-going, non-political American ladies living in México City meet two of México’s A-list lesbian activists?

Facebook!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones