Muxes – The Third Gender of Mexico

By Kai Teo
Photos: BRAVÒ

In the small town of Juchitán in southern Mexico, there live women, men, and muxes. Muxes define themselves as the third gender – born male, assuming female roles and appearance, but not being female. 

As described by the muxes featured in the video by Ivan Olita and agency BRAVÒ, "So, Muxes for me is just a different gender. Here in Juchitán at least it's a normality. Here, people accept you and let you do what you want to do." 

At Buddha Mag, we've been discussing genders in quite a lot of depth (and humour), and it seems that the rest of world hasn't seemed to have caught up with the openness of Juchitán to letting people be who they want to be, let alone who they feel they really are.

To a Muxe, being recognised as a third gender is a form of empowerment, an important recognition by their community that they do not have to identify as neither men nor women, and a great stride in terms of freedom of choice. 

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"I myself represent duality. I have the strength of a male, and the sensitivity of a female," as eloquently put by one of the Muxes featured.

The acceptance of Muxes in Juchitán somehow, is a lesson for what we would like to call "forward thinking societies" in the "first world". While many of us could easily identity ourselves as male or female, why are there so many obstacles when it comes to us finally realising that on this planet, there are people, despite what genitals they were born with, have difficulty identifying themselves as either? Why are we still adamant that they live by our standards of gender identification? Why can't we just accept the fact that some people are different, and feel different, and let them be?  

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"You start living on Earth, relying on the same community that comforts you and cherishes you." After all, aren't we all trying to work towards a planet that is more understanding, loving, accepting, and peaceful? So let's start somewhere.


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