Photo de la serie 'I am the queen'. Photos by Nelson Morales
Photo from the series, I am the queen. Photos: Nelson Morales

'I am the queen,' the muxe portrait that came to Center Stage Family

Nelson Morales is dedicated to portraying and telling the story of the muxe through photographs, and won a contest in Russia for his efforts.


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The representation of diversity in different areas is a crucial piece for the construction of an inclusive and respectful society built from differences.

Oaxacan photographer Nelson Morales is dedicated to portraying the muxe community to show this reality to the world through his exhibitions and social media, which ultimately translates into a fight against discrimination, homophobia and hate crimes.

In the region of Istmo de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, there are the Muxes, a third gender within the spectrum of sexual diversity. Specifically, the term defines a biological man who assumes female roles in any of the social, sexual and/or personal spheres.

"I had a kind of denial of myself, of my sexual identity, of my culture, of my ethnicity, of my skin color. I would watch TV and I wanted to look like those people I saw on TV, and I always wanted to be an artist. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to be a photographer, but I wanted to be an artist. Then I moved to Mexico City and sometimes I kind of felt the rejection. I don't know if it's rejection, but they wouldn't hire me when I wasn't in photography yet. Then I thought about it, and I began to accept myself," Morales said in an interview.

He says that returning to his origins, meeting the muxes, portraying them and sharing with them in spaces that he himself had refused, was a "re-encounter" with himself. 

"I had that doubt of not because it will stick to me, the muxes' gestures will stick to me, but that's how I gradually began to take pictures," he explains.

Morales' photography explores his cultural, sexual and personal identity, that of the muxes and the LGBTQ+ community in general.

In I am the queen, Nelson puts the muxes' pageants in context, showing us personal objects, the intimacy of their homes, their saints and their spells, their colors and their crowns. In images, the muxe world and their aspirations.


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