Photograph by Mario Patinho. Lukas avendaño. Muxhe, Muxe Contemporary performer.

A short film that I like to use in my introductory cultural anthropology courses to introduce units on gender is an innovative new documentary film entitled Muxes, commissioned by the Guardian in collaboration with The Filmmaker Fund. The film highlights the experiences of a third gender group unique to indigenous Zapotec communities in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. The videography of the film is beautiful and the subject matter is portrayed respectfully and from multiple perspectives. As one participant states in the film: “It’s not being gay. It’s not being homosexual. It’s nothing more than being Muxe. Being Muxe is just being Muxe”. At 12 minutes, Muxe is short enough to be paired with vignettes of other third gender groups from around the world in a single class period.

Quick Tip: Fusion TV put together a beautiful website that I sometimes use in online classes to supplement the video.

Link to the Muxe film:

Teaching Resource Contributed By: Katie Nelson, PhD, Inver Hills Community College