When Ruben Marone of Grupo Nexo called me earlier in the week and said he was in New York City for a few days, it was a great surprise since - even though I've probably known him for more than eight years - we had never met personally.
Ruben is a member of a news e-mail list through which I get most of the information about Argentina LGBT rights issues. Nexo, which started as a group of friends who launched an amazing LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS information magazine called NX, now provide health and HIV prevention services in Buenos Aires (the magazine was a victim of Argentina's economic collapse in 2001 though a few additional issues were printed in 2003).
Last night we went out for drinks and caught up to the latest developments. Aparently he had been told to avoid the bars on Christopher Street so I'm actually glad that I took him to Ty's and showed him that the bars weren't as dangerous as people had made them seem (he he). An observation: Ruben says that he's noticed that in New York, people are friendly but they don't like to touch. He says that in Argentina everyone is affectionate, whatever their gender or sexual identity, and that people grab hands, hug or generally touch you when greeting each other. He says that he understands that this is cultutral and is in no way representative of degrees of friendliness but it's the one thing that has struck him the most in this first visit to the United States.
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