Culture Gender

The Life and Struggle of Mexico’s Muxes Community

Life of Mexico's Muxes Community

Muxes come from the word “Mujer” (Spanish “women”) that recognizes as third gender or genderqueerness among the Zapotec people in Oaxaca. Generally, people are assigned a male or female gender at birth but they behave and dress in a way like with another gender as they grow up.


Juchitan de Zaragoza is located in the Southern state of Oaxaca, where there are three genders: Male, Female, and Muxes. According to the Zapotec language, the gender is neutral and there is no indigenous reason to force a specific gender on the muxes. The muxes classification has been acknowledged and celebrated since Pre-Hispanic Times. In the southern state of Oaxaca, the large indigenous community of muxes lived.

Challenge the Muxes Identity

As the muxes are a kind of gender diversity, primarily found in rural Mexico. The muxes are part of a Zapotec culture identity and it is hard to imagine life without muxes. 

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The culture allows for some important ambiguity regarding muxes and only amplified globally with the contact of LGBT outside of the region.

Muxes attempt to live free like any male or female. But this concept is disoriented even the most progressive part of the world. Because of their diverse identities, it’s difficult to find one definition or way to describe them. These individuals are the model of how culture makes space for life outside of the binary. And exactly how the genderqueerness community attempt to live: label-less.

Life, Work, and Celebrations of Muxes

In the southern state of Oaxaca, large indigenous of a muxes community lived. That community is also known as the community of muxes. In their community muxes are respected as the contributors of a town. Some are often working as artists, craft makers, beauticians, Manufacturers, and so on. 

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Muxes are not only respect, but they also celebrate festivals (Vela de las Intrepidas) throughout Juchitan. Vela de las Intrepidas (vigil of the Intrepid) festival is a three-day festival celebrate for their defiance of gender roles and the celebration to honor their gender ambiguity. At the festival, they wear richly embroidered outfits, Western-style dresses, or drag queen apparel, and some wearing men’s clothes with just simple makeup and nail polish.

Struggles of Muxes

Muxes community celebrating Vela de las Intrepidas
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Muxes are not universally acceptable within Mexico. Despite the higher level of acceptance in Oaxaca, there remains an issue of bullying, discrimination, and not accept their family member. As compared to other countries, Juchitán to experience more acceptance. In contrast, other ruler areas of Mexico still have the limited gender stereotype.  


Juchitán, communities continued to advocate all around the world for gender fluidity.  Amaranta Gómez Regalado’s marked the national pride and awareness for muxes at the age of 25. Although he was not elected to the office in 2003, now she takes pride in leading the way for her community. Now she has served as a leading advocate in Mexico’s LGBTQ Communities.

In New York, the Stonewall Riots marks the 50th anniversary and the beginning of the International Pride movement (Pride 2019). It is for to celebrate culture Trip spotlights LGBTQ Pioneers change the landscape of love around the world.

However, they play such an important role in Mexican culture. But in the U.S. transgender, people are still fighting for equal rights and acceptance. It shows that a country with centuries-old tradition is more accepting than contemporary societal norms.

Also Read: Frida Kahlo: The Legacy of Mexico’s Greatest Artist