Welcome to Juchitán, where boys who choose to be raised as girls are seen as blessings
In Juchitán, Mexico, muxes – children identified as male at birth, but who choose at a young age to be raised as female – are embraced as part of the community.
Being muxe is often confused with being transgender, but it is an identity specific to the Oaxaca region and the indigenous Zapotec culture. Having a muxe person in the family has come to be seen as good luck and even a blessing, particularly by mothers.
But life is not always easy. Many of the doc’s subjects speak of fathers who beat them, and one, Mariana, details how she fled to Mexico City where she worked as a prostitute and ended up temporarily paralyzed and in a coma due to injecting hormones.
The documentary – made for the UK’s Guardian newspaper by director Shaul Schwarz – is beautiful, thought provoking and ultimately uplifting.
As one older local man says: “A woman who lives as a man, a man who lives as a woman; we live together in harmony. That doesn’t happen very often in this world.”