The popular fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue recently made headlines with their very first cover featuring a muxe individual – an indigenous Mexican from the Oaxaca region, who mixes feminine and masculine identity and often identifies as a “third gender” rather than a male or female.
Assigned as a male at birth, they may also identify as a transgender woman, cross-dresser, gay man, or a man inspired by femininity.
The cover features Estrella Vasques, a 37-year-old muxe individual in a traditional huipil with a vibrant floral pattern.
The Vogue Mexico post reads:
“Once upon a time there was a land full of magic, fine gold, and iguanas, where the warm breeze still whispers in the ears of the people walking by.
It is here that, in time immemorial, the story of the third gender begins. In a world in which labels seem essential, muxes appear as figures who defy classification. The third gender has an important role in the Zapotec history and becomes the living proof of the ancestral magic that still walks on this land.”
The muxe culture has been a part of Mexico for centuries, and the release of the cover has been taken as a sign that the largely Roman Catholic culture is starting to become more and more tolerant in terms of gender identity and presentation.
Vasquez told Reutres that she thinks it’s a huge step, and even though there’s still discrimination, it’s not as much now as it once was.
She was invited to be on the Vogue cover in August, and she had never ever heard of the magazine at the time and was blown away that they wanted to share her indigenous culture.