Juchitán de Zaragoza, México, has been historically known as a commercial town dominated by hard working women. It has also become well-known because of “muxes”, a community of gender nonconforming people who have been frequently reported as “socially accepted”, in relation to other transgender communities at the national level. In this context, this research brings the narratives of muxes about gender and work. It seeks to make clear how heteronormativity creates and constrains room for muxes in the workplace, affecting their access to some types of jobs, in the context of a local and globalized economy. The labor market affects muxes but also muxes affect economic activity, keeping the economy local against the pressures of globalization. What protects and supports muxes is the economy by and for the local population. The local economy, mainly built on fiestas and other economic practices, allows muxes to be independent, “hard-working” and productive. In a different way, the wage labor is for transgender muxes the heteronormative sphere of the labor market, but an open space for normative muxes and gays. In the end, the research concludes that muxes, depending on their gender identities and expressions, experience different degrees of heteronormativity at work.

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Heumann, Silke
Individual Study Programme (ISP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Céspedes Vargas, Pablo. (2015, December 11). Muxes at work: between community belonging and heteronormativity in the workplace. Gender expressions in the context of a local and globalized economy in Juchitán de Zaragoza, México. Individual Study Programme (ISP). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/32997