Being homosexual in San Cristóbal de las Casas


* Homosexuals agreed that, from their perspective, they are stigmatized by defining them as effeminate, gossipy, nosy and promiscuous, sinful, perverse, sick, unstable, and/or carriers of sexually transmitted infections, mainly HIV.

Luis Enrique García Jiménez, researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), Tania Cruz Salazar, researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) and Liliana Bellato Gil, researcher at Jumaltik Equidad Sur AC, demonstrated that there is violence among homosexuals of gender by the reproduction of heteronormed male models, in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

In their article “Gender violence and the imaginary of heteronormativity among homosexual men living in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas” they proposed an investigation carried out through direct observation and semi-structured interviews with thirteen homosexual men of different ethnicities and cultures, with at least 6 months of residence in said city.

García, Cruz, and Bellato highlighted that the masculinity models found in the study participants were three: macho masculinity, hegemonic hetero masculinity and gay masculinity.

The first group groups those who are guided by the prototype of the “energetic, dominant and brave man”, by their corpulent features, physical strength, and ability to appropriate circumstances and people in a violent way, which puts them at an advantage over others.

The researchers and researcher referred to the second as masculinity as opposed to the feminine, “where the passive decides/earns less while the active imposes/legitimates more by believing themselves to be more heterosexual.”

Whoever embodies this model simulates virile behaviors that make them seem more heterosexual to avoid falling into the heteronormative violence that is exercised against the “effeminate”. They use misogynistic humor, threats and homophobic offenses against others to legitimize themselves as masculine since these are practices recognized as heterosexual.

The third was identified as a model that stereotypes and assigns roles to the homosexual, it is a model that imposes how a man should behave and consume because he is gay. HH11 (Homosexual man 11 – name under anonymity) said “it is a vicious circle where we are bombarded about what we should like for being gay and, at the same time, for being a man”.

García, Cruz and Bellato, obtained a list of “Subaltern Homosexual Identities (IHS)” according to the observation and interviews carried out with the participants, which describes the characteristics of a local homosexual person to belong to one identity or another, same as it grants them a status, call it exclusion or inclusion.

These identities were: viejoto (elderly, effeminate, and lower class); mampo (effeminate, dark and low class); joto, crazy, etc. (effeminate, young and low class); queer (increased body exposure); chichifo (female embodiment); twink (female embodiment); homosexual (homo erotic-affective practice, middle class); chacal/ mayate (intermittent / not assumed homosexual practice, lower class; masculine corporeity, brown).

Oso/panda, otter, chaser (male embodiment according to the presence of hairiness and/or body/muscle mass); gay (white, rich, and young); sugar baby (young kept by a mature man); daddy (mature man) and sugar daddy (mature man, middle or upper class, experienced, educated/cultured).

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Prepared by García, Cruz and Bellato. Subaltern Homosexual Identities Table.

Each of these identities represents a level of status among the homosexuals interviewed. HH8 stated that “the female homosexual is weak, fragile. Passive We can violate it. It is a central axis of violence between gays ”.

HH12 said that “being a mampo is having less money, possibilities, and education. Being gay is cooler “, while HH13 expressed that between sugar babies and sugar daddies the level of relationship has to do with money and trust,” it is an explicit agreement “, unlike the Mayates and the chichifos because with them it is” more hidden ”.

The researchers and researcher concluded that San Cristóbal de las Casas is a place that “potentiates, replicates and encourages” heteronormative social imaginaries that do not accept the presence of femininity in a male, therefore, as defense mechanisms, homosexual people incarnate and they represent models of masculinity “to project their desire and aggression for the feminine in the same way that the heterosexual world coerces the practice of their homosexuality.”


Amadeo Hernández Silvano, Rogelio Ernesto Marcial Zavala and Manuel Alejandro Moreno Muñoz, teachers in Cultural Studies from the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH), carried out an investigation on the perception of homosexual identities in indigenous contexts, specifically in a secondary school located in an ejido of Damasco in the municipality of Ocosingo.

The researchers mention that the vision that has been forged in certain cultural contexts about the duty to be in relation to the body of a person influences society, by promoting discourses that establish normative principles that mark what is normal or abnormal within each social group .

In the research work, they analyzed the significance and experience of young indigenous adolescents with diverse sexual orientations and practices. Talking about sexuality in the ejido is infrequent, about gender-gender diversity even less; As expressed by the inhabitants of the community, they assure that this issue began to be addressed when external people arrived, they affirm that they put ideas to the young people.

It is important to mention that the sex-gender system recognizes the heterosexuality of the subjects, places behaviors and ways of living in relation to the man-woman division, however, it exceeds the binary norm, by having a sex-affective relationship with a person of the same sex, as within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Transvestite and Intersex (LGBTTTI) community, the rules imposed and normalized in the patriarchy are broken.

Therefore, Hernández, Marcial and Moreno add that heterosexuality, in addition to being a form of relationship, operates as a political regime that encompasses all spaces of public and private life.

In addition, there are spaces designated to be occupied by the male or female presence, as well as spaces designated for heterosexual and non-heterosexual men. The school operates under these regulations based on heteronormativity, that which departs from the stereotype of heterosexuality is questioned, pointed out, and buried.

Likewise, in the ejido this type of gender stereotype is evident, they leave out everything that is related to sex-gender diversity or that moves away from heterosexual mandates.

“They always annoy me, there are no moments that my father doesn’t scold me, he hits me because I don’t speak like a man, I walk like a woman, he’s ashamed of me… even here (at school) they annoy me, I can’t find support from the teachers , they laugh, they don’t do anything … every so often they touch me, at least there was only one! Not that there are all of them, and I don’t like it that way, ”shared Ismael.

The researchers commented that Ismael reflects the rejection he receives from his family, specifically from his father, for not carrying out the social roles assigned to men in their social context, generating physical and psychological aggression.

Also, what he experiences at school is not far from his family experience, because the heteronomy vision and the lack of an intercultural education give way to teasing, pointing out, resulting in exclusion and even physical aggression without the teachers intervening in a way. timely manner.

Given the above, to carry out the investigation, Hernández, Marcial and Moreno spoke with people who participated in the school board. They had the support of the committee of parents, five students, of whom three are homosexual and two heterosexual, as well as four teachers.

On the other hand, Damascus is a Tseltal community, there is no expression that identifies with the word homosexuality; however, antsiwinik is the closest approximation, a term that refers to a person who can pose as both a man and a woman.

“Previously there was no such thing, now wherever you go you see the antsiwinik, they get into a man with a man, they dress like a woman… the antsiwinik are just that, men who dress or want to be a woman or who take the place of a woman when they are with a man, it doesn’t look good because the little ones can learn it ”, said a father of a family.

The researchers mention that the residents consider that being antsiwinik is something that develops, it is a social process that can be learned in interaction with others who already are.

For this reason, being homosexual or antsiwinik is synonymous with multiple oppression according to the inhabitants of the community and within the same family, considering that the organization and social roles are framed in heteronormative and patriarchal sexuality, it determines that you can only be a man or heterosexual woman.

“It is that everyone has to do, women have a role and men too; they, men and women, stay at home, they don’t go out, they hardly work, they are like women, well, they learn what women do. Mario’s son is always with the ladies and spends all his time in the kitchen, he never goes to the cornfield, he even paints himself ”, said a father of the family.

In turn, winikil is another common expression in conversations between parents and students; means behave or act like a man. The antsiwinik does not leave his home for various reasons.

“I hardly ever leave the house… wherever I walk, they quickly stare at me, or the people in the country start to freak out at me or say many things, it’s always the same… my dad doesn’t take me to the cornfield because it’s for men and he doesn’t like to be seen with him, because as I am as a woman… as soon as I leave high school I will go to look for work elsewhere because I don’t want to be here anymore ”said Omar.

Rejection generates sadness in young people due to the social exclusion to which they are subjected. However, diverse young people are not able to perform the roles assigned to men in the social context, the problem is the social norm, which makes it impossible for them to do so, the researchers mentioned.

They also found that, in the narratives, they expose behaviors regarding sexual practices between young people who assume they are heterosexual and the antsiwinik, the latter are forced to have sexual relations or perform other practices for the simple fact of being different, damaging the integrity of the partners. diverse youth, empowering straight guys, by establishing power.

“They persecute me, because they want to be with me, quickly they tell me let’s go to the bridge or things like that… they want to take me by force, even if I don’t want to. They show me their parts by holding them with their hands, that’s how they do it, and according to what they say they are good little men, but who knows! ”Shared Ismael.

Thus, being antsiwinik is synonymous with rejection in the community social scheme; It implies that young people hide their identities and sexual orientations for fear of rejection, verbal and physical violence. Expressing that one is antsiwinik implies being the object of accusations, ridicule, persecution, rejection, harassment and constant violence, repressing feelings is the alternative that some assume to avoid the norm and established social standards.

Regarding teaching practice and refresher courses, the necessary importance is not given to this issue; The researchers even observed that it is an issue that does not affect the teaching-learning process, as it is not included in the study programs, the teachers affirm that they do not have the obligation to address it in the classroom.

“We have not really worked on homosexuality in school or in courses, it is not in the study programs, I imagine because it has nothing to do with the teaching-learning process … neither would parents allow us to talk about this topic. We follow the study program, but these guys also don’t give one at school, they are very lazy, “said a teacher at the school.

Finally, the situation of the antsiwinik inside the school is complicated. Some of them have failure problems and lack of interest in school activities. Faced with the harassment and violence they experience, the student has little interest in their academic training.


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