Chacala was busier than usual yesterday, which was a Sunday. Actually, the beach is almost always busy on Sundays, unless it rained the day before, or is really overcast. But the rest of the town is usually pretty quiet, with lots of locals visiting friends and family elsewhere for the day.But yesterday the chicken murders were here, which draw some people, and a volleyball tournament was in progress at the Primaria playground. Teams from Las Varas, Chacala, and San Jose del Valle (near Puerto Vallarta) were here for the afternoon. The teams were composed of young guys, averaging may 19 or 20.
And young women and their Mom's ran some refreshment stands. One of which was collecting money for community stuff. Like the San Rafael Day stuff. When I wondered down to the court to check out the action, one of the local guys said to me, "Oh, the guys from San Jose are all gay". Young Mexicans, or at least Chacaleans, seem to be highly attuned to the sexuality of their counterparts from other places. And often call each other "gay". Which seems to be considered both funny and derogatory.
So anyway, in general, when I hear the local guys calling someone else "gay", I always try to present a semi-disgusted look on my face, as in "How un-cool can you get"? Yesterday a local young man, who often calls other guys "gay", was particularly vocal about his team's opponents being "gay". I gave him in hard time. As in "Oh, how is it, exactly, you know he is gay?" "Personal experience?" And then everyone started laughing at him, and joking around. He seemed to think it was funny too, and life went on.
The joke was on me though, because it turned out some of the players on the other team were very "out". And very flamboyant and open about it. When they saw I was taking photos they made sure I got photos of them posing. Very funny guys.Sexuality/sexual perference, etc is interesting around here. At least to me.There are a couple of young men in the Las Varas/Chacala area who dress up as women, or at least, very decoratively and effeminately, and no one seems to pay much attention. They seem to be active and accepted members around town. Noticable, but that's all.Of course, there may things going on around here I don't know about. I noticed one of those effeminate young men was being pushed around by some drunk 16 year olds at the big Las Varas fiesta one night last February. Two other people and I walked up to the group, and asked XXX if he could help us with something. We all walked away from the drunks together. And they didn't follow. I hope they were embarassed. It seemed like they were.
What I see though, is very interesting, and nice, in my opinion. In my former (conservative, Catholic, town) for example, it would be unlikely you would see a man who dresses mostly as a woman, teaching dance routines to boys and girls on the school playground. In preparation for a big community-wide show.
When I was walking home at the end of the day I ran into this vender, selling toys for 10 pesos. The streets of Chacala were totally deserted at our end of town, and I ended up taking some photos of him. And buying a couple of things. I took about a half dozen photos, and I think it cheered him up some. He really got into posing, and had a nice smile by the time we finished with the picture taking.
This is a local gentleman who often is working on some handcraft or carpentery project on his front porch. Piecework for the local fishing industry. Today he was making leaders for hooks for some fisherman. Sometimes he is making what looks like wooden lobster traps, but I'm not sure what they are.