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Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Updated: Just when we were getting blasé about Mérida on House Hunters, finally a gay kiss

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.

House Hunters International caught me by surprise yesterday. And then it made history (at least in my estimation).

When I saw a Mérida-themed episode on my DVR, I assumed my device had captured a rerun by mistake. I completely forgot that Leopard Films had shot another episode some time ago. It was all over Facebook at the time, but then I kind of forgot about it.

By my count, this is the sixth show from Mérida, and the third with a same-sex couple. But there’s also a big first, possibly a first from the entire series. It happened quickly, and if you blinked at the wrong time, you missed it.

It always annoyed me at the show’s climax, if you’ll pardon the expression, everyone else gets to mark the moment with a kiss. Except for gay couples. They give each other a hug, a hearty handshake, or maybe a high five. I’ve never been sure if that’s an example of self-censorship or the producers not wishing to get hate mail from the hinterlands. I know if Paul and I had done the show, it would be a big question. We’re just naturally sheepish about public (much less televised) displays of affection. Maybe we would have done a headbutt for the cameras, just to be different.

To my surprise and delight, last night was two-fold. It’s great that HHI features gay couples as often as they do, but it kills me just a little to see a mere hug at the big (albeit staged) moment in which everyone else smooches. Obviously, it’s not the taboo-breaking moment that I’m making it out to be. But finally, everyone gets to get sloppy at the end of an episode! My thanks and admiration to Frank and Dan, who were man enough to kiss for the camera.

Update: Here are links to two of the houses, apparently still available, shown on this episode:

House 2: $225,000, on Calle 55 near 72, Santiago. A recent renovation listed (and probably remodeled) by Henry Ponce. They call it “Las Palmas” in the show, but I don’t see it listed anywhere by that name. Not huge, but the expansive roof terrace is impressive.

House 3: $339,000, on Calle 62, Santa Ana. An art gallery was in the garage, and it operated briefly as Posada Tamarindo in 2008. Price reduced $10,000 since the program was recorded, and another listing has it as $365,000, perhaps the opening offer. It’s massive at 62 meters deep and 11 or 12 meters wide, depending on whose listing you read.

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