MEXICO

In Monterrey, Mexico—a city in severe drought, with an almost empty reservoir, and an announcement from the government that every neighborhood will have their water cut at least one day a week, we follow Plantón Trans, a tent city, held together by a trans couple named Gabriel and Lucas. What began as a protest over the dismissal of a transgender teacher, is now a tent city that includes a craft market, movie nights, voguing lessons, and student talks, and alliances between the larger queer community and the university’s labor staff.

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Gabriel and Lucas also run the Twentieth, an informal transitional house for queer and trans people who have been cast out of their families. Miriam, a Mexican trans woman of color, is the first person to move into the Twentieth. An engineer turned activist, Miriam later wins a historic case against her employer for wrongful termination after her transition. As a last effort to prove to herself she’s still alive, Miriam teaches herself to play guitar. After a year of family therapy, Miriam’s family moves past their prejudices and misinformation, and Miriam moves back home. Now an accomplished and talented guitarist, Miriam is working to create a festival during Mexican Pride that celebrates queer and trans musicians and artists. We follow Ana, a bisexual woman in her early 20s and her psychologist mother. In a country where abortion only became decriminalized—though not easily accessible—as of September 2021, Ana speaks to us about what it's like to be a young woman in Mexico, the adult cosplay she performs to pay for college, and her mother who serves as her cosplay manager. In Ana’s barrio, the water is cut not just one night a week, but every night.

 

In Chiapas state—home of disappearing rainforests and ancient Mayan ruins—the backdrop of disappearing mountains hover, as they are increasingly chipped away to make cement for development. We follow Medhin Tewolde Serrano, an Eritrean Mexican woman and one of Mexico’s few Afro filmmakers, as she documents the experiences of Afro-Mexican women in the country. We visit Voces Mesoamericanas Acción con Pueblos Migrantes, a women-led migration justice organization that works with women and families of the disappeared. Along with the work of searching, Voces focuses on the need for joy, teaching the women left behind how to ride bikes, and offering art lessons.