GLBT / LGBT
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Bogota –is!
Bogota –This quintessentially cosmopolitan city which has been at the crossroads of diversity with civil rights in Latin America, is now a city declared by Mayor Samuel Moreno (2009) as the “Land of Diversity,” to better ensure the safety and rights of the GLBT community.
Of the many surprises one can find in beautiful Bogota, few will surprise you more than discovering the city’s thriving GLBT community.
While much has been written about the GLBT communities of cities like Sydney and Buenos Aires, neither of those cities have enjoyed the Civil Union (Union Libre) protections offered to Bogotanos and all of Colombians since January of 2009. In fact, the world news-media has, yet again, underreported the fact that, Colombia was the first country in Latin America to offer partial legal protections to same-sex couples through the first-ever in Latin America Constitutional Court ruling in 2007, a ruling that was supposed to have been expanded in Congress a few months later to grant all rights (except adoption) in that same year, but was delayed by a year and a half due to 11th hour maneuvering by the vote of a few conservative senators.
This historic achievement and all those that came thereafter in Colombia, are mainly due to the efforts of Latin America’s first GLBT advocacy group; “Colombia Diversa” and their partners, working in conjunction with all branches of the Colombian government. Though at first, only partial rights were guaranteed (in 2007), just a few short months later the laws were enhanced to provide same-sex couples (as well as other common-law unions) the same rights enjoyed by married heterosexual couples with the exception of adoption (and according to recent court cases, we can anticipate this last hurdle to be overcome very soon as well).
Colombia Diversa is also responsible for the opening of the first GLBT Community Center in Latin America.
Under the guidance of its Executive Director, Marcela Sanchez, Colombia Diversa has achieved impressive success in the advocacy of GLBT rights in Colombia. In fact, the 2010 International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Felipa Souza Award will be presented to Colombia Diversa in New York on March 15 and in San Francisco on March 18.
The GLBT community can be found residing throughout Bogota and its suburbs, but it is principally centered in the neighborhood called Chapinero, also known as Chapi-Gay. Bogota’s thriving GLBT community is one of the largest in the world, boasting a population nearly as large as that of Rio de Janeiro’s, and larger than San Francisco’s or New York City’s. Upon arrival, Bogota’s Gay community may not appear too apparent, given the fact that the city is more understated and European in character. Nevertheless, the community has a formidable presence, and Bogota’s immense annual Pride celebration keeps the festive spirit and political momentum of other international parades, while truly showcasing the vibrancy and creativity of Colombian gay life. The inclusiveness and openness found at this mega-celebration which attracts nearly 2 million participants, embodies the best of what GLBT Pride festivities represent –where you will even find heterosexual families and their children warmly watching and applauding the parade’s entertainers.
NOTE: Unbeknownst to many, Bogota, with its excellent healthcare system, is also one of the leading medical centers for gender reassignment surgery, and related services. The quality, kind attention and affordable medical care available here is truly amazing –more on this to come.
Indeed, first time visitors to Bogota are shocked to find the vibrant, sexy, warm and exciting GLBT club scene that Bogota has to offer. In fact, Bogota has the largest gay nightclub in Latin America, Teatron. There are clubs, bars and saunas of all sizes and themes serving all members of the GLBT community.
And who can overlook the fact that Colombia is renowned for probably having the most beautiful guys and gals in the world?
Colombia Diversa - The first GLBT rights organization in Latin America.
Dominio G - The first GLBT on-line television broadcaster in the world!
Eden Radio - One of the oldest GLBT Radio Stations in the world.
GLBT Directory - As provided by the City of Bogota. Below is a direct link to the page from which to download the directory –simply click on the word “Descarge (download)” next to the little green arrow.
Degeneres-e - Lesbian organization
Trans-Ser - Transgender organization
BogoGay - And very soon, the first English language website about Bogota’s thriving GLBT community.
Original Design of the Gay Pride Flag