Male Homosexual Roles Among the Isthmus Zapotec of Southern Mexico

2026 WordsJun 23, 20189 Pages
Male Homosexual Roles Amog the Isthmus Zapotec of Southern Mexico Carlos and Javier are two men living in the city of Juchit∫n, Mexico. They work at a small hotel just off the z-calo, the main town square. Sometimes they converge with other men outside the hotel to watch people as they walk past in the z-calo. As nearly anywhere in Mexico, the men comment and nudge each other when an attractive woman passes, but Carlos and Javier remain silent throughout the exchange. It is not until an attractive young man walks by that they speak up. ãÃUy, que guapo!ä Carlos exclaims: ãAh, how handsome!äÊ Carlos and Javier are muxeâ, the effeminate male homosexuals of Isthmus Zapotec culture. Male homosexuality and transvestism is…show more content…
Muxeâs typically occupy work that would otherwise fall into the female sphere, such as selling in the marketplace and operating cantinas, though some do take work that falls into the male category, as with those who work in the petroleum industry. Carlos and Javier, however, fall into neither group. Their work -- cooking and cleaning at the hotel -- generally falls into the category of womenâs work, but few self-respecting Zapotec women would do such work as a profession, outside her own home. Jobs like these, mainly involving housekeeping, are dominated by muxeâs, as is the highly specialized and respected field of dance instruction, according to my informants. Sexual relations among the muxeâ seem to be most public with mayates, though some muxeâs may enter into relations with other muxeâs. Muxeâs and mayates attend fiestas, weddings, and dances together as would a heterosexual couple, and their presence is not viewed as unusual. As many women dance with each other rather than with men, so too are muxeâs often seen dancing with other muxeâs, though this does not indicate a sexual relationship. Muxeâs and mayates can occasionally be seen kissing in public places as would many heterosexual couples. Muxeâs interact freely with both men and women, entering into scenarios in both the male and female spheres with relative ease. Muxeâs often enter into joking banter with

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