Gay Night Out is fairly new to Buenos Aires, although the premise — hosting an LGBT friendly bar-crawl in Latin America’s Gay Capital — is certainly not. The group started throwing parties last August, with the most recent gay ol’ times to be had being “Coming Out,” “Party Animal Safari,” and this past weekend’s “Gay Oktoberfest.”
Lured into participating by pictures of hunky men in lederhosen, and to a lesser extent, the promise of craft beer and German sausage (because it doesn’t get gayer than bratwurst), I along with several of my friends met at Vavok Bar in Palermo, where we embarked on a decidedly non-traditional Oktoberfest celebration. For a mere AR $200, we were promised access to an open bar, and a healthy dose of pizza and sausage (wink wink, nudge nudge), welcome shots in the following two bars on the crawl, and transport and entrance into Rheo Club, which has been described as “the best gay club in the city.”
Vavok Bar, where participants usually meet up, is what you might find in the dictionary next to the definition of hole-in-the-wall. Small, dark, with furniture being somewhat sparse. All the same, the deco was funky, the music was on point, and the friendly, attentive staff patiently explained how the open bar worked when they saw the G.N.O band on my wrist.
After an hour or so at Vavok, G.N.O’s personable, bilingual staff herded us all out (not an easy feat) and down the street. Rubbing elbows with my fellow Oktober-festers, it was incredibly easy to socialize and make new friends — something that can be surprisingly difficult if you’re an exchange student or an expat. The next bar, Chupitos, was jam-packed, colorful, and loud, and as we all filed in, we were given welcome shots. Additional drinks were affordable, and the bartenders awed us with a shot of neon-colored liquor they were kind enough to set on fire for each of us.
The final bar, Peuteo, was more of a hike from Chupitos, but the GNO staff made sure that everyone in the group made it, and we were welcomed at the door with deliciously blended passion fruit shots. The decor was impeccable — think fairy lights and lamps in the shape of world globes — and music videos played from a large TV screen, providing our daily dose of Beyonce, Rihanna, and the other queens. After a little less than an hour, we all crowded into school buses, did several rounds of “the wave,” and were chauffeured over to Rheo, where we promptly entered and had a blast. Our chaperones made themselves scarce soon after, but waved goodbye at the end of the night.
Gay Night Out’s next big event is a Halloween party set for October 29th. Getting in on the action is easy: just send them a message on Facebook with your full name, and the names of any friends you’d like to take along.