Inside Mexico City’s First LGBTQ Soup Kitchen.

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06/07/2022

Like many parts of Mexico City, the Guerrero neighborhood feels simultaneously bustling and relaxed. Just northwest of the city’s historic center, kids play in the street as mopeds zip past narrow buildings in bright, pastel colors and tree-lined sidewalks. But Guerrero lacks the glitz and glam of wealthier boroughs nearby. It is a working-class area where people have historically grappled with some of the city’s highest crime rates. On a Friday afternoon, just blocks from one of Mexico’s oldest churches, a dozen people are lined up beneath a rainbow flag and a banner that reads Manos Amigues. It means “helping hands,” a phrase that typically uses the gendered word amiga, but here is rendered with a gender-neutral alternative, amigue. In Mexico, gender-neutral Spanish is not yet widely embraced, but here in Guerrero, it has gained a foothold thanks to Manos Amigues, founded in 2021 as Mexico City’s first soup kitchen by and for the LGBTQ community. Here, people of all ages, genders, and sexualities dine side by side on iridescent tablecloths, between walls adorned with work by queer and transgender artists, as Mexican cantina music shuffles with disco on the speakers.

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