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Of gerbils and “Donkey shows” — my first — and last — posts on the subject

10 March 2007

The things I do for research!  Hopefully, this will be the ONLY time I have to deal with this. 

I look at what searches people run to get to this site.  I try to not let it affect what I write about, but it’s instructive to see what’s on the minds of folks who visit The Mex Files.  

Some I assume are from dunks with a computer (“Aztec warriors attack Montreal bar punk rock” was my favorite… though I’m not sure how that particular google search ended up here.  I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Montreal).  

For a while, there were bunches of hits every couple of days from people looking up the Salm-Salm family or Princess Alice zu Salm-Salm.  She was an interesting footnote in Mexican history, but I don’t know what made her suddenly so popular.  Maybe she showed up in a Women’s Studies syllabus.  I don’t know.

And some, I’ve just gotta check out.  I’ve learned a few things from what others are looking for, or realized they are issues for people interested in Mexico.  I’ve had three or four in the past few days from people typing in “Alejandro Fernandez gay” , and I get a couple of hits a month from people trying to track down the Tijuana donkey dens. 

So… hoping to deal with both requests… here’s my first (and last) post on those two subjects. 

The gerbil in the mariachi 

Years ago, I went to the trouble of checking out the back issues of the Journal of Forensic Pathology in the course of writing a an article on a right-wing student group at the University of Iowa mounting a “Straights for Gerbil Rights” demonstration (they didn’t have “illegal” immigrants to pick on in those days). I found the alleged “proof” the group claimed was the scientific confirmation of that nasty little urban legend. 

The pathologist who wrote the article (Clyde Snow, a famous pathologist of the time)  had heard the stories too, and — ahem — bent over backwards to figure out the mechanics of such behavior, and went to the trouble to figure out what the indications would be if there were such an incident.  He couldn’t come up with any way it could happen.

None of which prevents the story from remaining popular. There’s a variation, in which a handsome movie star is in OUR hospital and you won’t believe what they found shoved up his butt… and you won’t believe it, but the guy was.. well, in the published version from, it’s Richard Gere, but I’ve heard Tom Cruise and Errol Flynn (from much older people) among many others.

It seems that legend now has a Mexican variant.  After pop star Christian Chavez came out on his group’s website, there’ve been a rash of gay Mexican star sightings. On a website for foreign tourists, I picked up the emergency protology report from Guadalajara… this time, the “exposed” star is singer Alejandro Fernandez.

I’m kind of disappointed that press reports on Christian said he was “outed after compromising photos appeared” which weren’t compromising at all… they were his wedding pictures in Canada. And geeze, coming out from a singer in a telenovela about a band at a private school who dyes his hair pink and otherwise is supposed to be a flaming youth is no shocker (though, being the first Latin American pop star to come out, I guess it’s noteworthy). Chavez fits the gay stereotype in Latin America… but Alejandro Fernandez?

Why not? He’s a good looking guy (and these stories seem to be based as much on jealousy as anything – “anybody that good looking can’t be straight”) and he did play Emiliano Zapata (who was also a handsome guy rumored to be gay). Funny the rumors have never attached to Spanish actor Antonio Bandaras, who has played gay characters in several movies, though. Maybe it’s the way Alejandro dresses… that hat!

I think a lot of it has to do with the differences between U.S. (and that includes Mexican-American) and Mexican attitudes. Fernandez – and his father – have defined macho for two generations, but they are Mexican machos. They show affection. Abrazos are part of everyday life. They’re flamboyant and showy.  They kiss close relations on the lips. It’s all normal.

I ran across this on VivarLatina

Don’t go calling him gay. Apparently “El Potrillo” Alejandro Fernández has been the target of criticism and speculation lately regarding his sexual orientation because he and his father engage in kisses on the mouth as a show of affection. Alejandro counters:

“Esta es una costumbre familiar y no nos interesan las críticas. Yo a mis hijos también los beso en la boca, tal y como me lo enseñó mi padre, y eso no significa nada sobre nuestras tendencias sexuales, por el contrario, somos muy hombrecitos”, expresó el artista en rueda de prensa.

“It’s pretty lame that he’s basically saying he’s a “real man” as opposed to a “gay man”, who aren’t considered “hombres”.

Lame because I liked him and thought he’d be beyond the typical of Mexican machismo BS of gay men are “locas”. I guess guys who kiss their dad on the mouth…we’ll, they’re just chest-beating machos who can do that.As for the speculation, how ridiculous is it to think that a man is gay because he kisses his dad? I mean do gay men make out with their fathers? Ugh.

 Getting some ass in Boy’s Town Searching for donkey shows, I’ve found a college radio show called “Tijuana Donkey Show”, a bar in Denver (the object of some protests back in early 2005), a cocktail (tequila, ginger beer and fresh lime), a lot of salacious talk, and … some bad jokes.

Wikipedia says “It is common knowledge in the area that Tijuana and Juarez cab drivers will offer to take tourists to “donkey shows,” and instead take them to a location where they are robbed,” but the footnoted source (from a message board for guys looking for cheap whores) only says the poster thought “it [the alleged sex show] was bullshit”. 

Every claim I’ve ever seen or heard or read beings “this was 20 years ago, but…”  In other words… “A friend of a friends’ cousin once…” — the best source for tracking urban legends — has a thread on Donkey shows.  But, other than an unreliable reference from reformed porn star Linda Lovelace and references to alleged shows in Europe, nothing relating to Mexico. 

Someone named “Gator” wrote a review of Nuevo Laredo’s “Boy’s Town” for a skin mag back in 2003 that has a picture of two donkeys, and gives the same of a bar where this supposedly occurs.  Of course, this “e-zine” also has a feature claiming George W. Bush was involved in a Matamoros Satanic cult (and, bad as I think “el pendejo” is, I don’t think I’ll put too much stock in that particular tale (which also has John Kerry sacrificing 2 year olds)… or in anything printed by “Gator”. 

Of course you can (if you turn off “safe search”, haven’t eaten and aren’t easily grossed out) find pictures of just about any depraved act.  There is one photo (too gross to link to) that every single souce claiming the story is true (and that the act is “common”) uses.  The exact same photo.  The only indication that the photo was taken in Tijuana, or anywhere in Mexico for that matter, is that you can see a can of Tecate on a table.  And a fat lady.  And a donkey (which might be stuffed donkey, as far as anyone can tell).   

My sense is that because we come from a puritanical country where the law has tried to regulate sexual acts, we think anything NOT illegal is common, or at least easy to find, in Mexico.  We project all kinds of imaginable (or theoretically possible — I never though of donkeys and sex together, let alone researching the question) dubious activities go on in Mexico. 

When I wrote my guide book for foreign teachers, I had to deal with the issue of pedophilic teachers… I was suprised at the number of people who told me THAT particular perversion was legal, too.  It ain’t.  The “proof” was a mistaken entry in a website dealing with age of consent laws… where a Sonoran judge had dropped charges in a case involving two minors, which someone thought established precedent (not in Napoleonic Law, where things not specifically covered in the code are decided case by case… nor would a lower court ruling be binding on anyone, in any legal system). 

So.. if you’re coming here looking for the truth about the fat lady and the Tijuana donkey… here it is:

 Photo:© Copyright 2000–2006 Worldwide

(Christian Chavez photo, Univision; Alejandro Fernandez, VivarLatina)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 August 2007 7:12 pm

    The donkey shows in Mexico or more or less “urban legend” although in the old days, some could be found.

    In Boystown, Nuevo Laredo, there is an alleged donkey show at a club called Martha’s which is a hangout for trannies. The show is faked but when the gringos are drunk, they can’t tell the difference.

    In Boystown, Reynosa, the Gold Club has the “Monkey Show”, a dude in a gorilla costume taking adavantage of a “poor innocent” girl.

  2. 24 September 2007 11:05 pm

    I lived in Tijuana on and off for the purpose of meth binging and wanted revive the donkey show on the rancho for the purposes of putting on a “bray per view,” but an old timer told me that them Catholics would never have given moral consent even for Hollywood types. And have you ever seen a donkey with a boner? More likely is female coitis with a German shepard or even a bull with a micro-penis.


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