Amidst the vibrant hustle and bustle of the city of Juchitán de Zaragoza, the Muxes, a unique group of women, stand out. Despite being born as men, they identify as women. Within Zapotec culture, they are recognized as the “third gender” and play a distinct role in society. Traditionally, Muxes take on tasks typically reserved for women, such as trading in the market, craftsmanship, or other business activities. They dress in equally colorful clothing as women and mingle among the female crowd at festivals and in everyday life.

Juggling between gender roles does not raise eyebrows in Juchitán, as being a woman is considered a privilege. Muxes have the freedom to choose their own familial path, deciding whether to stay in their mother’s house or start their own families.

Despite their unique role and acceptance in the community, Muxes face challenges. They must navigate prejudice and discrimination, both within their own community and in society at large. Nevertheless, within the matriarchal structure of the Juchitecas, they enjoy significant recognition and have the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and self-determined life.

Victor, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Julia, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Naomi, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Croacia, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Jade with her family, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Jade, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Victor with veil, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Jade, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Naomi, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Croacia, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Julia with her dog, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Naomi and Jade, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Julia, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022