Open gayness is unnoticeable in the majority of South America. I suspect the lingering influence of the Catholic Church, but can’t be sure. Even at the gay pride parade in Medellin, Colombia, I think there were more straight people who had just come out for a party – any excuse. Brazil is different.
I have no gaydar. Someone has to tell me their gay, or introduce me to their same sex partner, or do something along those lines. Of course there are the exceptions where people make it very obvious (and even then I try not to make assumptions because I’ve been wrong before), but those people are a minority outside of television/Hollywood. So in my hostel room were 3 gay guys. One Italian, one Argentinian, one Brazilian, and no, it’s not the start of a joke. For 3 days I had no idea. They didn’t do anything in the hostel. Even when they went into the bathroom together, it always seemed to be about cleaning up more conveniently and I didn’t think much of it. Then a couple of them invited me out one day, feeling sorry for me after watching me do nothing but lie in bed.
At our restaurant, they were telling me how someone tried to get them arrested for kissing on the streets of Salvador, how the police officer didn’t care, the lifeguards at the beach they were interested in. The conversations with the lifeguards that they shared with me sounded hilarious. They were all straight (supposedly, they were all married also), except one guy said men “were ok”. The other one was curious to try, but scared, he wanted to start with a transsexual first to ease himself into it,