Gay Life In Quito
Ecuador has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last few years.
Politically, Ecuador is relatively progressive. With the creation of a new constitution in 1998, Ecuador banned any type of discrimination based on sexual orientation, becoming the first country in the Americas - and the third country worldwide - to do so. This was a huge step in the right direction for acceptance and tolerance of sexuality across the nation. In 2008, Ecuador officially recognized same-sex civil unions, although same-sex marriage is constitutionally banned.
Quito’s ever-expanding gay pride parade takes place at the end of June (or early July) in the Mariscal, and goes down Avenida Amazonas to Plaza Foch.
With the new government and the “revolución ciudadana” many things have changed. Probably Ecuador will be the first country in the world that will have “gender” on the Identity card instead of “sex”. A ministerial service is watching over discrimination and make sure that ministries have an equal mix of man, woman, handicapped, indigenous and whatever their color, religion or origin. Cohabitation is regulated by a legal contract with all rights (except for adoption).
You can see man hugging and kissing, walking hand in hand on the streets, especially in Quito.
The gay scene in Quito city is free of dress-code, uniforms, and clones; dress for all occasions and places is casual light-weight summer wear (although you will need a sweater or jacket in the cool evenings). There is no age-ism. There is also a lack of attitude. You will find Quiteños very friendly, interested in foreigners (gringos), and a fair proportion speaks some English. It does help to be able to speak some Spanish, but not speaking Spanish isn’t a bar to having a good time.
There are quite a few gay friendly places in Quito, mostly centered on the Mariscal neighborhood. The scene changes quickly so forgive us if the list isn’t complete or up to date.