If everything you know about Mexican wrestling came from the Jack Black film Nacho Libre, now you have a chance to see the real thing.
This year's theme for the four-day Portland Latino Gay Pride is La Lucha ("The Struggle"), and organizer David Martinez promises "a lot of Spandex" as queer eye candy.
The four-day celebration culminates with the free Portland Latino Gay Pride Festival from 4 to 8 pm on Sunday, June 7, at the Jupiter Hotel. It'll be a balls-out party featuring entertainers, musicians, and even an appearance by an authentic "luchador"—who goes only by the moniker Megaboy, insisting on keeping his real identity secret behind a satin mask.
"Some friends don't know what I'm doing," he admits. "It's like I have a second life. When you go to the ring, you can be a totally different person."
Having grown up in Mexico City, Megaboy says he learned the ropes at a wrestling ring located behind the restaurant that his mother owned. Now 29, he says he's been training "since I was a kid." However, Megaboy remains diplomatically demure when asked whether Mexican wrestling is, well, shamelessly fake like its US counterpart. "You have to show the people a show, but at the same time it's hard and it's dangerous. You can get hurt."
As anyone who saw The Wrestler already knows—remember Mickey Rourke getting plugged by that staple gun?—even rehearsed wrestling comes with a painful price. "One time I went to the rope," Megaboy says, "and I jumped to give the guy scissors." Instead, Megaboy landed wrong, injured his arm, and blacked out. "I can't remember anything."
Here's an even scarier question: As a straight man in a traditionally macho field, how does Megaboy feel about the prospect of performing in front of a crowd full of queers? "It's not strange for me," he says, noting that he knows some staff members at Cascade AIDS Project. I guess it turns out that even for Mexican wrestlers, some of their best friends are gay.