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Miss Vicki
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21 May 2008

MEXICO: Muxes, Gay Men or Third Gender?


Believe it or not, there is a place where girls and women are more highly valued, than boys or men. Now, isn't that a twist?

Even though, the United States is miles from this land we are very similar in the ways of our thought. However, there's a vast difference in the process of thinking, in how we digest I guess.

In Juchitan Mexico an estimated population around 67,000 which is much smaller than most of their cities a boy isn't necessarily looked upon as to having demeaning qualities if he's what we the United States would call 'gay' or a 'cross-dresser'. There in Juchitan it's really no problem.

Muxes means gay men but translates culturally as a third gender. A muxe has one major dissimilarity to the the gay male in the United States. They're raised to forsake their masculinity and encouraged to embrace the femininity of a woman, a girl. Playing with dolls and dressing as girls is orchestrated by their mothers. Two reasons why, one is to increase future economic growth for their family.

A family which has a muxe is considered one of the elite. They earn higher wages. Mostly by designing dresses gowns and blouses. Their creative talents are sought out for the towns many parades and festivals. Several times per week Juchitan holds one of these events. Secondly, seeing as the muxes income far exceeds that of the father and his sisters the mother grooms her son in order to have herself provided for through out life. He's to remain in her household.

Muxes very seldom have intimate relations with men, even though they're dressing and living life as women. A rites of passage ceremony happens at a certain age. Whereby it's confirmed an announced to the community by taking on a woman's name. This event is a marked celebration by a huge gathering of people of all ages. A 'coming-out' party, so-to-speak.

Many of Juchitan's people believe being muxe is biological, while others feel it's due to the environment. Sort of like the United States argument at hand. The belief it's environmental stems from the fact, that mothers are wanting a muxe so it is nurtured and cultivated by them.

What can you expect they say, when a young impressionable boy grows up dressing as a girl? The opposing view, feels it must be predetermined and genetic why else would the boy child take to this? Plus, continue the path as a grown man.

It may or may not matter, what the reason is for some here in the United States. A lot of argument could be made on this subject. One thing is for sure the majority of LGBT people aren't embraced, given a celebration or thrown a party by the heterosexual community, which includes family friends when we decide to live our lives, being that which we are -- Coming Out, normally means heartache and loss.

{just a few links Marie Claire March 2007 & We are Princesses in a land of Machos - Muxes - Homosexual of Juchitan - flickr photos.}

5 comments:

Queers United said...

Great write up, I have never heard of the Muxes. I wonder if it is pronounced Moo-jhes? I hear many cultures stories about m2f acceptance, but never heard about f2m, it would be fascinating to see if that was ever tolerated, accepted, or even embraced by a society or if it could even exist.

Miss Vicki said...

Thanks--
muxes is pronounced 'Mooshays'.

The Amazon Women lived in peace for over 1,500 yrs. w/o Male Dominance or Control. I was searching for FTM awhile back and stopped when I discovered this important part of women history. If you come across FTM point me in the direction.

Ceara said...

Thats cool. Someday I may visit there.

Miss Vicki said...

that would be a nice play 2 visit.

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