There's a very nice Museo de las Californias now, but back then you went to Tijuana for just one reason: to cruise in sleazy bars (you could also bet on horse racing and jai alai). And, one day in the summer of 1987, shortly after I broke up with my celebrity boyfriend, we went to a bullfight.
I didn't want to see a bull being slaughtered, but I also didn't want to wait in a sleazy bar by myself.
Surprisingly, I actually liked it. The slow, torturous death of the animal was disgusting. But the toreros were fascinating.
Corrida de toros, or "running of the bulls" is an ancient spectacle of man against animal, or rather male against male, since both the toreros and the bull evoke powerful masculine energy.
The bull's sex organs are in full view, too. Its penis when erect is 2-3 feet long. And it's often erect as it charges the matador, making you think that it intends a sexual assault.
Thus the spectacle becomes a ritual triumph of civilization over savagery, artifice over nature, complicated by gay symbolism.
But the spectacle has more than a few gay fans. A number of toreros have posed for gay magazines, and in 2009 a European company struck a deal with matador Joselito Ortega to advertise an energy drink called Gay Up on his cape.
Purists were outraged -- not because of the gay ad, because he was lowering himself to product placement.
Also check out the naked anti-bullfighting protests, including the Running of the Nudes in Pamplona.