Gay in Guatemala

| Tue Oct. 17, 2000 3:00 AM EDT

It ain't easy being gay in America, but it's easier than trying to come out in the heavily Roman Catholic country of Guatemala, where machismo is the next closest thing to a national religion.

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Fortunately for many gays and lesbians in the country, however, activists in unlikely places like the nightclub industry are paving the way for more openness and tolerance, says THE GULLY magazine.

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During the country's bloody civil war, nightlife wasn't exactly a pressing issue in Guatemalan society. Now, however, underground clubs are bouncing back and closeted locals are gaining some courage. But physical violence and discrimination still keep approximately 90 percent of the gay population in the closet.

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