Buenos Dias!

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I haven’t posted a lot lately because I’ve been getting ready to vacation in Mexico with my girlfriend.  And now we’re here. I just finished day three in Mexico. We booked an all inclusive vacation in the beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta. I’ve never been on a tropical vacation before so this has been a treat. To do so with the love of my life has been nothing short of amazing.

Puerto Vallarta is beautiful.  Our plane landed and we descended onto the tarmac to board a bus to the airport. From there we bused to our hotel. Culture shock hit when we really hit the highway. Buses sped past us on either side with a mere inch. Mopeds,  ATVs and pick up trucks full of the locals sped past and changed lanes at a dizzying pace like rapid fire. I wouldn’t want to have to get a drivers license here as I’m afraid that would be putting my life into the hands of others. I’m surprised there doesn’t appear to be more road rage here. Back home people would have been honking,  flipping the bird etc. I suppose if one were to grow up here you’d become accustomed to the pace.

We were welcomed into our hotel which has a beautiful atrium where plants and vines dangle from the upper levels in the main plaza. A waiter greated us. My girlfriend gave the man a tip and cervezas (beer), were brought to us immediately.  I have never been in an all inclusive resort but the service is amazing here. It is great how tipping brings such swift, and smiling service.  It saddened me a bit realizing that tipping a small $2 in Canadian but 20 pesos to them was a quarter of what they make a day. We are so fortunate to live well off compared to most of the world.

My girlfriend,  who is much more outgoing than I has made it easy to speak with the locals. We met a couple young people who work at the resort. We bought a night out to a nightclub called Senor Frogs for $40 Canadian each. This included our cab ride to downtown Puerto Vallarta, our way in, free drinks and a party that should have lasted till 5am. We were tired by 3am but we enjoyed a night of body paint,  glitter,  the company of some Mexican gay boys, lively Spanish club music and watching a bikini contest. The friends we met were very accepting of my girlfriend and I as a couple.

My girlfriend tells me this often but I am starting to learn that stereotypes do not always apply. Case in point: we befriended a fellow Canadian who worked in an oil rig the first evening. He looked like the typical douce bag with a lot of money to blow and an attitude to go with it. But he showed us he wasn’t a bad guy. He was friendly,  respectful and fun. I’m learning first impressions based on biases aren’t always accurate.

I have to say my more disappointing moments was last night when I became black out drunk.  Having 30+ drinks will likely do that to anyone. I made a fool of myself but the people I spoke with they next day said it was ok because “This is Mexico”. I regret not remembering when I apparently asked my girlfriend to marry me in our hotel room. *Facepalm* One of the most memorable times in someone’s life and the person asking should at least remember saying something that significant,  no? That was not how I pictured asking her to marry me. I have played with the idea in my mind before but doing more romantic things than be black out drunk. *sigh* I will work on this. My girlfriend is amazing and I know she deserves a better proposal.

Today we had the experience of taking a bus to Bucerias. Bucerias was a beautiful fishing village. The main strip, roads and buildings appeared war torn and broken. Mexico seems to be a mosiac of the richer more tourust places and the real third world sections. We wandered down to the beach at a liesurely pace. My girlfriend was patient with me being a shutter bug and snapping photos of everything. We ate a spicy mango which involved the peddler chopping slivers off the pit with a machete which made the mango look like a flower. He then squeezed lime and sprinkled chili flakes on it.  We drank a fresh coconut on the beach as well. We are both nursing sunburns (even though we wore sunscreen). We met Mark Jacobs (not the designer), and his dog Lou who loved it when we threw a coconut into the surf for him to fetch. We capped off the day with a bucket of cervezas (beer), seafood, nachos and real guacamole!

We took a cab back and had a quiet evening.  Tomorrow we’re heading out on a bus tour of Puerto Vallarta. Maybe we’ll find Old Town,  a tattoo parlour, the Blue Chairs (the gay district) or some new adventures. I look forward to it.

Are you two friends? Roommates?

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The other day, I crossed the Canada/US border with my girlfriend. Something I’ve noticed is that the US border agents are pretty serious. I mean they have a serious job of making sure terrorists, traffickers, drug runners and other criminals don’t enter their country. And that makes sense… but I am not trafficking or a terrorist.

When we were speaking with the US border agent, we were asked the usual questions. “Where are you coming from? Where do you live? Where are you headed?  Why are you headed there? How long will you be?” And… “Are you two sisters? How do you two know each other? Just what is your relationship? ” Wait. What??

Is it because I seem close with my girlfriend?  I mean when you’re dating someone of course you seem close to them. You’re best friends. You laugh, cry, love and support one another. How would you not be close?

But these questions and the manner of questioning were said in a malicious and probing manner. I looked to my girlfriend and the border guard.  “We’re friends.” If there’s something I’ve learned upon coming out and being true to yourself is that sometimes you have to lie and sacrifice the truth in order to remain safe. Is it ideal?  No. Does it hurt? Yes. Is it upsetting? Of course. Who wouldn’t want to live a life of just being able to be honest (not just when asked) and tell everyone you meet that the love of your life is the person you’re with no matter what biological sex they are? But it seems to be a problem even in the 21st century even when world countries and states (in the US) slowly pass Same sex marriage laws.

Silent vieled bigotry in the form of questions such as “How are you two related?” Are things we face. Had we answered honestly who knows what the border agent would have done of said.  Would we have been turned around and told to stay in our country and denied entry to the US? It’s possible. As a border agent who has powers of deciding who enters her country, who knows what she could have said to deny us the power of entry simply because she didn’t like the look of us.

Anti-hate laws aren’t exactly formed into the US constitution or laws like they are in Canada. And even if they were, from my experience, I’ve found homophobic or ignorant people find other excuses to use in order to spread ignorance and homophobia. Is it fair? No. It reminds me of the closet door I have come through and tried to keep open. It reminds me that sometimes it’s safer to lie because I am different than the majority. It reminds me that some people will never approve of who I love and I try not to let it reflect on me because I know in my heart that I’m not a bad person. But this is why we continue to fight for human rights and stamp out bigotry and ignorance. We do so one person at a time, educating them about ourselves to show that the only difference is that we love someone of the same sex. Our love is otherwise the same. We still want the same things that other couples want: health, happiness, love, support. Maybe one day ignorance will die off or at least be a distant,  faded memory. I hope I get to see such a day.