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Swier: "Other Loves" in the Other Campaign

Swier: "Other Loves" in the Other Campaign

March 25, 2006
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Mark Swier reports from Juchitán and Oaxaca City, Oaxaca today with a look at how the state's queer communities - gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, and especially Juchitán's famous "muxes" are waging their own struggle for rights and dignity. The muxes are indigenous men who defy traditional gender roles yet have found an surprising degree of acceptance in their families and communities. The Zapatista Other Campaign's passage through Oaxaca caused the local queer community to examine its place in a larger political struggle, as well as forcing Marcos and the Other Campaign to reflect on how they work with these "other loves."

Swier reports:

"On his 'Other Campaign' stops through Mexico, Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos regularly invites the participation of workers, farmers, indigenous peoples, women, youth and elders in constructing a national anti-capitalist campaign, 'from below and to the left.' But perhaps alone among nationally-recognized political leaders he adds gays and lesbians - what he frequently refers to as the community of 'other loves' - to the list of people who fight for a new Mexico and who the Zapatistas seek to ally with in a larger struggle. He has been met along the campaign trail by a broad spectrum of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community, a vital sector of allies who have shown support both organizationally and individually to the "Other Campaign" and its goals.

"In fact, the EZLN has a long history of drawing connections between the struggle for dignity and survival of indigenous people in Chiapas and movements for liberation around the world. There are plenty of beautiful words that stand as evidence. The poetics of Marcos have referenced queer movements at different times for the past 12 years, last year even challenging Italian soccer giant Inter Milan to a match, claiming that the Zapatista squad would be representing with a lineup of queer and transgender players.

"However, even in the 'alternative media' very little attention has been paid to the relationship between the Mexican queer community and the Zapatista struggle. The Other Journalism decided to begin our coverage of "other loves in the other campaign" in the majority indigenous city of Juchitán, Oaxaca, where Marcos visited on February 6, and where a visible and very 'out' queer and transgender population has long played a significant role in the city's social, cultural, economic and political life."

Read the full story, here:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin


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