Muxe Identity: On the Construction of a Third Gender Identity in Juchitan, Mexico
This paper analyses how muxe identity is a manifestation of the intersection of discourses of race, (trans)sexuality and aboriginal identity, which is considered amongst the people of the Mexican Isthmus in Juchitán as an alternative to the heteronormative gender binary man/woman. I focus on the vela of the muxes i.e. a fiesta that pays particular attention to celebrate alternative sexualities and that has been incorporated into the system of traditional, regional fiestas, as the point of departure to show that muxes' gender identity is no longer purely aboriginal (as it had been considered historically), as they have introduced and assimilated elements of western transgenderism into their identity. Whereas the rest of the velas have remained faithful to the Zapotec heritage, this particular one has become part of a circuit of gay events (national and even international) that caters for a much broader audience, and in which the muxe, transvestite and drag identities co-exist in harmony and sometimes overlap.
Keywords: Muxes, Gender Identity, Transgenderism, Vela, Mexico
Mr Gustavo E. Subero
Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, School of International Studies and Social Sciences