Latin night at the Chute offers haven for gay Latinos

“Vine satisfacer a un hombre Americano,” said Alex Sanchez as he smiled shly and giggled when asked why he came to Nashville from Mexico City . “Y caída en amor.”

Translated: “I came to meet an American man,” he said. “And fall in love.”

Though no official estimates exist on the number of gay Latino’s in Nashville, there are more than enough to support what’s becoming a very popular destination for Latino’s and those who admire them at Latin Night at The Chute, held every Thursday night at 10 p.m. in the “cowboy” bar.

Sanchez moved to Nashville just over a month ago. He found at job at Carestone, and says he’s finding something else as well – being at ease with himself because he’s gay.

“Oh it’s much easier to be gay in the U.S. ,” he said. “It’s very hard in Mexico . The culture is very macho. The acceptance here is much better.”

Acceptance wasn’t even an issue as Sanchez looked around, surrounded by about 50 Latino men and another 20 or so American men, while he and the crowd were being entertained by five Latino female performers, in their native language and music.

Tony “ L.A. ” oversees the show and the music. He’s been in Nashville for six years, having come from Mexico via California .

“Oh, yes, there is a very big gay Latino population in Nashville ,” Tony explains. “But they are very much in the closet. We are excited to have this opportunity at The Chute to come be ourselves.”

Latin Night at The Chute was the idea of Fred West, who serves up drinks in the “cowboy” bar.

West said he loves to date Latino men, and he knew through some of the men he had dated that they had no place to “call their own.”

He approached bar owner Don Hartsfield about hosting a “Latin” night. Hartsfield agreed, and now more than two-months-old, the night is becoming a popular destination point for Latinos.

“It’s open to all,” West said. “Not just Latinos. If you’d like to get to know some of the gay Latino men in Nashville , this is the place to be.”

There is a $3 cover charge, but that includes some beautiful Latin men performing drag numbers set to some of the hippest Latino music spun by D.J. Tony L.A. West said he also gives away a door prize at the end of the evening (those have included a portable stereo, a wine basket), and he has various items to give away during the evening including shirts, hats, and CDs.

Latin Night at The Chute begins at 10 p.m. every Thursday night. Performances start at 11:30 p.m. The crowd varies; West said that he’s had more than 100 on a few nights, and as few as 50 on other nights. Latin Night is for those ages 21 and up.
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