Nicola Ókin Frioli’s award winning series of photographs documenting “Muxes”, Mexico’s transgendered community that is celebrated as a symbol of good luck.
“They drink beer, they are part of local governement and they are symbol of good luck for their family: they are Muxes, homosexuals of the “pueblo oaxacaqueno de Juchitan”, more than 3000 homosexuals who enjoy respect and admiration in all the country.
Los Muxes (in zapotec language means homosexual)are considered as a blessing in Juchitan and you can count almost 3000 of them.
According to a taxi-driver, there is a homosexual in every family and Muxes themselves assert to be “fallen fron a broken pocket of San Vicente Ferrer” the patron saint of Juchitan,during his holy walk over the town (a local expression to say they are lucky, chosen people).
It is a luck for a homosexual to be born in Juchitan, where in a population of 160.000 people, the most of them feel respect for Muxes, while they walk proudly in the streets, dressed as women with huipiles and enaguas, typical dress of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.
The homosexuals of Juchitan have gained a place in economical and political activities, normally reserved to men.
They are ownersof shops,they work in hospitals, they are successful stylists of the typical local dresses and owners of beauty salons.
A resident in Juchitan says ”Thanks to God, we have one of them in every family… they are like women, they work as a man, but they wash, cook, clean the house and when the other sons will get married and leave, they will stay and look after their old parents”.
“A lady living here, has accepted a son muxes… and then she has winned the lottery.. it is a real blessing. .everybody shoul accept them as they are.. in every place they are”.
Carlos Lopez Toledo, municipal concellor, explains that when a family relizes that a child has a bent for homosexuality, they treat him as a lucky charme, because Muxes are good producers.
“A lot of us are in this way, because our parents have converted us and treated as female “says Felina, a 36 years old Muxes, owner of an Estetica (beauty salon). ”I’m not a man.. I’m not a woman.. I’m a Muxes and there is place for everyboby in the Vineyard of Lord “.
Mistica, 27 years old, makes traditional dresses “When I was a child, I used to play with my sisters,I dressed as a woman and Imade myself up… my mother was happy and used to say she would like a son muxes… My father didn’t accept immediately and decided to bring me to to the farm with my brothers… but once arrived… I run to pick up flowers…- Nicola Ókin Frioli (via feature shoot)