The stretch of 26th Street that makes the heart of Chicago's Little Village neighborhood is vibrant on a Friday night. The smell of taco stands is warm and inviting in the cold, as people bustle amongst the colorful stores -- joyerias and a chain of boutiques named, curiously, Brazilian Seduction Jeans. In the midst of this is a bar with no sign. But locals know this is La Cueva, a Spanish speaking-only bar where women with false eyelashes and hair like exotic birds writhe and lip-sync to Mexican pop music.
La Cueva is an LGBTQ historic site -- it is known as the oldest Latino drag bar in the country. This is a bit of a misnomer, as the performers are women -- trans male to female. La Cueva has been around for 30 years, providing a place for trans Latinas to work and gay Latinos to belong.