Mexico City’s main plaza, the Zócalo, is flanked by a huge Catholic cathedral just yards from the Aztec altar excavated in 1978, complete with the ceremonial stone for offering still-beating human hearts to the sun god. Around the corner is another vast church edifice officially belonging to a congregation but long since turned into an ad hoc community center where the usual ideological filters of the church hierarchy clearly do not apply There a gay and lesbian cultural festival was in full swing one November evening, and a crowd had gathered in preparation for a performance act rumored to include some unusual tableaux vivants with animals. While a panel of lesbian authors, gay writers and assorted activists droned into a bad public address system, their remarks echoing unintelligibly off the massive stone walls, nine-tenths of the public paid only polite attention and pursued their private devotions, quite like the worshippers at the cathedral across the square long familiar with the outlines of the ceremony.
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