I reported on the festivities of this group in my thread Julio -- mes de la Guelaguetza, in July 2014. Yesterday I was lucky enough to be where their parade was forming up, so had more opportunity to get unposed pictures. For background information and a look back at the parade, please go here to page two. Without further ado, here is the scene yesterday evening by the arches of the aqueduct in Oaxaca, a couple of blocks from my house ~
Reply #4, 2nd picture ~ the woman at far right carrying a baby: no make-up, can't just put the kid down and go be glamorous, wearing the clothes she can afford to wear. THAT is how natural-born women mostly live.
The dresses are beautiful, but so hot and not a good style for the long-waisted (me).
I had forgotten about this aspect of Mexican culture. It's interesting to think that it is prevalent in Mexico but also in countries like India and Thailand which also have made an open place for misgendered people even though none of these countries is famous for encouraging 'deviant' lifestyles. What strikes me is how ordinary the majority of the participants look -- women dressed up for a festive day but not all that many extravagant drag queen types which take the spotlight in 'developed' countries.
On the other hand, extreme eye makeup seems to be rather popular, but I imagine it is just as an attempt to look more like a woman.
This report is delicious visually, as almost any report from Oaxaca seems to be, but it is far more than that as well. I still can't easily reconcile the fact that for me as an American from the US Mexican culture so often feels like a trip back in time to the fifties (or what I imagine the fifties were like) with this beautiful and accepting open-mindedness that would have been unthinkable in the fifties era US. It's like finding out that John Wayne loved free verse poetry and espresso ristrettos or something.
Belated thank you to Mossie! I've probably posted about this before, but that lacy style of headdress is called a resplandor, which means 'brilliance' or 'radiance' in English. It evolved from a blouse that someone adapted for a head covering. This origin can be seen in the vestigial sleeves still sported by the resplandor.
So kind, Amboseli -- thank you!
Good eye, Kerouac. The spectators are mostly people just going about their business, but who gathered to watch the preparations and the parade. As far as the eye make-up, that could be considered accurate in terms of channeling women of the Isthmus, who dearly love makeup and particularly eye make-up. Two ladies from Juchitán once insisted upon dressing me in their festival clothing and also made me up to their standards. Gad! Not having their gorgeous toasty skin tone nor the same body type as the Isthmus women, I mostly looked like I'd died and been dragged off to a cut-rate undertaker with extravagant taste.
Ha ha, Fumobici ~ beautifully put. I believe your attempts to understand the culture have given you more organic insight than many people achieve even after years of living here!
Kerouac, you have visited the town where one of the fake transgender/muxe candidates threw his bonnet into the ring. In fact he leads off the list of those considered the most outstanding examples:
There were 19 transgender women in the competitiveness segment that corresponds to women, however, it was identified that 17 are not part of the trans or muxe community of Oaxaca. Many of them are married men with children, some of the candidates even seek re-election as municipal presidents and during their previous positions they did not declare to be transgender. The most striking cases are that of Santos Cruz Martínez, municipal president of Cuilápam de Guerrero, who seeks re-election as a trans woman by the Por México al Frente coalition (PAN, PRD, MC). source: Newsweek en español
I think we had a transgender municipal councillor in Paris about 10 years ago, but that's not too difficult to do because the municipal elections in the big cities of France are proportional. She/he was on the Green party list back when that party was still innovative and had not lost all credibility.
Update of May 11: The electoral authority of the State of Oaxaca decided to suspend for the moment 17 of the 19 candidacies of transgender women who had registered to occupy political office in the next elections. The news leapt to the media after civil society organizations denounced the alleged fraud by a group of candidates who registered as trans women without being so.
On April 26 Councillor Carmelita Sibaja Ochoa considered that two political parties - the Green Ecologist of Mexico (PVEM) and Nueva Alianza (Honeycomb) - had tried to circumvent the gender quota by asking to register six of their male candidates as transgender women and at the same time asking for "absolute discretion" about their identities.
The community in which I live is very small and very orthodox, so if this situation is known about me, I would be subject to discrimination, verbal and social violence, as well as ridicule from people that even today they are intolerant of the people of my condition,one of the candidates asked in a letter that was read by Sibaja Ochoa in a session of the general council.
The councillor, however, determined that such requests were contrary to the principles of non-discrimination and equality originally sought to be promoted within the Gender Parity Guidelines for the 2018 elections. Article 16 of that document established that " In the case of nomination of transgender, transsexual, intersex or muxes, the nomination will correspond to the gender to which the person self-ascribes and this candidacy will be taken into account for the principle of gender equality ".
As public figures, candidates have to campaign and appear before the voters as members of the gender to which they self-ascribe, the council argued. For that reason, the possibility of keeping the transgender identity of the contenders secret was denied and the organ declared that the six candidatures were inadmissible.
The recent denunciation by the muxes women attempts to prove that 17 of the 19 transgender candidates are in fact cisgender men. That is, they were born as men and identify themselves as such. "They are people who play with the banner of sexual diversity to win an electoral candidacy," says Naomy Méndez. "We, as transgender people, transsexuals, intersex and muxes have fought day after day to achieve these public positions, and it is outrageous that others try to usurp these spaces by posing as one of us."
Well, am glad that the rules allowed them to stop the fraud.
I found it impressive that the whole thing was treated with dignity. The muxes are in a strong position to claim their alternative gender status, since it is ingrained in their culture and most if not all of them have self-identified that way since childhood.
Now there are so many brands that is it is simply an affectation to carry these queer labels.
Mossie, you bring up an important, if uncomfortable element that necessarily enters into any discussion of contemporary gender identity.
Admittedly, I was and remain outraged by the spectacle of Bruce Jenner deciding that it would be more fun to be a woman -- a woman with scads of money and publicity. Sorry, but it seems more of the next step in his lifelong addiction to being in the public eye. It's infuriating that he is lauded for his bravery (he kept his male genitalia) and was named Woman of the Year by Glamour Magazine. He never went through the process of being a little girl nor a teen girl nor any of the other stages that women necessarily endure. Skipping all that to have a little plastic surgery and then sliding into a designer gown does not make one a woman.
I realize I'm being extremely judgmental about this particular case, and I do acknowledge that it's impossible to deny that certain individuals feel that somehow nature made a mistake and put them into the wrong bodies. Whether that feeling should be addressed with therapy or gender reassignment surgery, I do not know. One would think that some intensive therapy would be in order before proceeding with surgery or even with the acting-out part of self-reassignment.
In the long-accepted superficial view of gender roles, men had more freedom and a certain confident panache, whereas women had feminine wiles and fun dressing up. All real men and women will laugh at these stereotypes, knowing them to be far from the truth. But it is disturbing to wonder if in many cases whether it is the stereotype that attracts the sexually- or gender-confused person, rather than the deeper reality of being born male or female.
Naturally I am a product of my culture, the time in which I was born, etc., so perhaps trapped in a false and outdated view of how the world should be. Regardless of my prejudices, I do feel people should be let alone to do their thing as long as it hurts no one else.