Mexican Culture and the Third Gender

634 Words2 Pages
Summary Alejandro Taledo is known as Alex. Although Alejandro is a boy's name, Alex is a girl. She was born a boy, but she identifies with being a girl and other people also see her now as her chosen gender. She works with her mother during the day, selling flowers. Alex is not alone in Juchitan. A town in Oaxaca, Mexico, Juchitan has a high concentration of transgendered individuals as well as gays and lesbians. The town is also known for its beautiful black pottery and traditional food. Although Mexican culture is known for its machismo and patriarchy, it can be surprisingly liberal. Mexico City allows gay marriage. However, Juchitan is the most tolerant city in the country when it comes to gender issues and sexual orientation. The local name for a transgender person is a muxes, which is a variation of mujer (woman). The muxes are not male or female, they are the "third gender." Many muxes do wear women's clothing but some do only on pageant nights and other special occasions. The town of Juchitan has an annual "transvestite of the year" competition. Indigenous Aztec cultures had room for the third gender, which is why the practice is still common and accepted today. Muxes in Aztec times were considered especially wise. Aztec priests and gods could be cross-dressers. In this region, many people still speak Zapotec, which is why the traditions have held longer here than in regions that have less of an indigenous culture. The Catholic Church and Spanish culture tried
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