Dina’s Digital Diner: Mux Ado About Something

| Mar 21, 2007
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In a land far away well, maybe not so far away there is a place where feminized males are treated with respect and play an important part in the region’s culture and commerce. No, it isn’t San Francisco or Greenwich Village. It is in a remote part of southern Mexico, the land of machismo.

A muxe.

Down in the narrow part of Mexico, the isthmus region of Tehuantepec, where North America meets Central America, the feminized homosexual males called Muxes are a cultural force that plays a balancing act between the typical macho Mexican males and the Grand Dames of working class Mexican village life, the voluptuous, earth mothers who are the mothers to the Muxes and wives of the Muxes’ fathers.

English writer Isabella Tree wrote an excellent article on the Muxes on the website travelintelligence.net titled “Hot Nights in Juchitan.” She pays homage to the fleshy earth-mothers of the Muxes as well as the boy-girls themselves. Her article made the small Pacific coast town of Juchitan seem like a transgender fable come true, where pretty young men are beautiful women and real women are Rubenesque pillars of the feminine ideal. The real macho men are bit players, working stiffs, and occasional paramours of the Muxes pay no attention to the biology here if she’s that pretty kiss her, make love to her, and in the morning it’s back to the fishing fleet.

The history of the area plays a large part in this unexpected black hole of Hispanic machismo. The women worked in the marketplaces while the men worked out in the fields or the fishing boats. Over time, the commercial power of the women became dominant, the males became secondary. One can understand how impressionable young males could see the woman’s role as the desirable path in life. And those young men who take that path are rewarded with respect in Juchitan where they might be in grave danger in most parts of Mexico. They are seen as creative and hardworking contributors to their families and the culture of the town.

Ms. Tree’s article has this to say about the Muxes in Juchitan: “This is why Juchitecas are pleased when their sons prove to be gay. ‘Never mind, perhaps this one will be a muxe’Â, is the usual consolation for some poor woman who’s given birth to yet another son. Teenage heterosexual boys, as all mothers know, are bound to bring you heart-ache. They’ll be disobedient, idle, wasteful, staying out all hours, endlessly looking for somewhere to raise their mast, getting into fights. And they’re expensive. To get a son off your hands, you may have to set him up with a dowry, some money, or some animals or even some land; you’ll certainly have to throw the wedding party. To have a gay son is infinitely preferable. There’s no stigma attached to homosexuality here. As one proud and disarmingly frank Juchitec mother explained it to me: ‘God puts the heat in different holes, that’s all.'”

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Category: All TGForum Posts, Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

I started crossdressing and going out publicly in 1988. I joined the Renaissance group in the Philadelphia area that year and later became chapter leader for two years in the '90s. I always enjoyed writing and wrote for the Renaissance newsletter and magazine throughout my membership years. I've been writing for TGForum for several years now. I also contributed items to LadyLike magazine and other TG publications before the advent of the internet. My hobby-within-a-hobby is singing live as my alter-ego Dina Sinatra and I have had the opportunity to do that with several accommodating performers and in a number of venues over the years since the mid-1990s. In the Diner column items here, I try to relate crossdressing or transgender themes (and my own pet peeves and fetishes) to the larger world -- and vice versa.

Comments (1)

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  1. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    What? A travelogue without pictures?
    Seriously though, will our culture catch up to them? The role of men in western society seems to be shrinking, as the cultural power of women grows…