Gay & Lesbian Bars
Walking distance from the Mexican border, The Old Plantation billed itself as the “oldest and biggest gay nightclub in El Paso”. It closed in 2012 after a 36-year run. All of these bars are along one of the routes that Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca may have taken across Texas in the 1500’s. In his La Relación he mentions encountering homosexuality, gender variance, and same-sex marriage amongst at least one tribe of Native Americans. As we stood at the base of a pedestrian bridge crossing the Rio Grande after photographing the Old Plantation we were overwhelmed by thinking about the 500 years of change and struggle and intermittent progress from LGBT people since Cabeza de Vaca wrote his early ethnography.