Gay and Lesbian Travelers
Santa Fe is one of the major gay capitals in the United States, second only to San Francisco in the per-capita rates of same-sex coupledom, and particularly popular with lesbians. There are no designated “gay-borhoods” (unless you count RainbowVision Santa Fe, a retirement community) or even particular bar scenes—instead, gay men and lesbian women are well integrated throughout town, running businesses and serving on the city council. Two weeks in June are dedicated to Pride on the Plaza, a whole array of gay-pride arts events and parades.
Albuquerque also has a decent gay scene, especially if you want to go out clubbing, which is not really an option in quieter Santa Fe. Taos isn’t antigay in any way—it just doesn’t have a big organized community. As for smaller towns and pueblos, they’re still significantly more conservative.
Gay culture in the state isn’t all about cute shops and cool bars. One big event is the annual Zia Regional Rodeo, sponsored by the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association (505/720-3749, www.nmgra.com). It takes place every June in Albuquerque, with all the standard rodeo events, plus goat dressing and a wild drag race.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition