Muxes, a third gender originating from Oaxaca, Mexico, have been a part of society for centuries — since pre-Hispanic times, in fact. Now, closing off what has been a beautiful year of firsts for Vogue Mexico and Latin America, the glossy has teamed up with British Vogue to highlight the muxes’ beauty and history for a global audience through a cover on both publications.
“Women are as strong as men, and the muxe as respected as either of them,” author of the cover story Karina González Ulloa wrote from Juchitán.
In a digital article that prefaces the upcoming December edition, readers are taken to Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, where the magazine sat down with locally revered muxes to introduce them to the rest of the world.
“To be muxe is a duality,” Pedro Enrique Godínez Gutiérrez, also known as La Kika, director of sexual diversity of Juchitán’s Town Hall, said. “We occupy the role depending on circumstances, it could be that in certain occasions I see myself as a man, and in other occasions as a woman.”
The Indigenous muxes featured in the shoot include Victoria La Toya López, Felina Santiago and Estrella Vazquez, who, according to The Guardian, had never heard of the publication prior to being approached by the team.
Vazquez appears in traditional embroidered pupil and enagua vestimenta, with elaborate, delicate accessories to accompany them.
The 37-year-old Zapotec muxe will grace newsstands as soon as the end of this month for what will be one of two December covers in Mexico. Their faces will also appear within the pages of British Vogue, in what is the first-ever fashion shoot collaboration between the two.
Tim Walker, a renowned British photographer who has captured the essence of notables for the past two decades, was tasked with the historic gig.