Explore the wealth of diversity, understanding of gender, and sexual orientation in this temporary exhibition at the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City.
Family is a natural and fundamental element of society that has a right to be protected by the state, and by society itself.
There is not just one type of family. According to the Instituto Nacional de Geografía y Estadística (Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography), families can be made up of different domestic groups, including:
Single-person family: Just one person.
Unrelated coresidents: Several people living together who are not related to one another.
Couples: Homosexual or heterosexual.
Nuclear families: A couple and their children.
Single-parent families: A father or mother and their children.
Extended families: A couple with or without children and another relative.
Multinuclear families: At least 2 couples with or without children.
Polygamous families: A head of household and at least 2 spouses, with or without children.
Coresidents: A head of household and at least one relative.
From the moment a person is born, doctors, parents, relatives, and everyone else around them will treat them as male or female, depending on their biological sex.
What is considered "male" or "female" varies from culture to culture, and from society to society. This set of expectations is known as gender, and relates to the concepts of "masculine" and "feminine."
The way in which a person sees themselves, as female, male, both, or neither, is known as their gender identity, and may or may not match their biological sex. This means that it is possible for a person to be born with female genitalia, for example, but to consider themselves to be male. This is known as transsexuality.
Gender expression is the external manifestation of the cultural features by which we identify people as male or female: their clothing, jewelry, makeup, and accessories, as well as certain gestures.
Sexual orientation refers to whether an individual is attracted to people of the opposite sex (heterosexual), both sexes (bisexual) or the same sex (homosexual). It also includes asexual people, who do not experience sexual attraction.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), people become aware of their sexual orientation around the age of 10.
Sexual diversity refers to people's capacity to accept, express, and live their gender identities and expressions, as well as their sexual orientation.
In many societies, being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans means belonging to a minority group that is also subject to various sanctions under the values of those societies.
"Coming out of the closet" is a process that can take any length of time. It is completely personal and can cause anxiety, stress, and/or fear for those going through it. That is why people who decide to do it deserve to be respected and valued.
Lesbian: A woman who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to other women.
Gay: A man or woman who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of the same sex.
Bisexual: Someone who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to men and women.
Transsexual: Someone whose biological sex does not match their gender identity and who may make changes to adapt it.
Transgender: Someone whose biological sex does not match their gender identity, but who does not intend to make changes to adapt it.
Transvestite: Someone who performs a gender that is different from their own, without this necessarily implying a homosexual sexual orientation or preference.
Someone who is born with a combination of male and female biological features, such as chromosomes or genitalia, resulting in an ambiguous definition of their biological sex.
Someone whose experience of their gender identity and sexual orientation is fluid, and who does not feel the need to conform to a specific definition.
Asexual: Someone who is not sexually attracted to people of either sex.
Can you choose to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual?
No. Human beings cannot choose their sexual orientation. For most people, their sexual orientation simply emerges during their childhood or adolescent development, generally without there necessarily being a sexual experience that triggers or causes it. So sexual orientation is not a matter of choice.
Can a person's sexual orientation or gender identity be changed through intervention or therapy?
No. A person's sexual orientation or gender identity cannot be changed. Attempts to change someone's sexual orientation usually lead to human rights violations and can be extremely traumatic. Examples include psychiatric therapies aimed at "curing" [sic] people who are attracted to others of the same sex, as well as the so-called "corrective rape" of lesbians, carried out with the express purpose of "straightening them out."
Is homosexuality an emotional problem or a mental illness?
It is neither. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other health professionals agree that homosexuality is not a disease, a mental illness, or an emotional problem. Over 35 years of scientific research have shown that homosexuality itself is not linked to mental illness, or to emotional or social problems.
There are 72 countries in which homosexuality is a crime.
- In Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,
homosexuals are given the death penalty.
- Only 9 countries refer to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in their constitutions: Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, Portugal, Sweden, Malta, Montenegro, and Kosovo.
- Conversion therapies are prohibited in just 3 countries: Brazil, Ecuador, and Malta.
- 19 countries have moral laws against homosexuality, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
- There are barriers or laws preventing the creation of associations that promote LGBT+ rights in 25 countries, including Russia, Algeria, Mauritania, Egypt, Uganda, and Sudan.
Heterosexuality, or being sexually and emotionally attracted to people of the opposite sex, is generally the only acceptable type of relationship for those who believe in traditional gender roles. It is common for people who hold these beliefs to reject people who are in other kinds of relationships. These hostile attitudes lead to intolerance.
Mexico had the second-highest rate of homophobic crime in 2017. Between 1995 and 2015, there were 1,310 murders in the country that were motivated by homophobia. The age-group most affected was those aged between 18 and 39. Homosexual males made up the largest proportion of deaths (1,021), followed by trans people (265 deaths) and, lastly, women (24 deaths).
In Latin America, hate crimes directed at trans people mean that this group has a life expectancy of just 35 years.
A set of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, and behaviors that involve aggression, hatred, contempt, and ridicule against particular people.
The It Gets Better project was created in the USA in 2010 after the suicide of Billy Lucas, a gay teenager who was bullied because of his sexuality. Billy's death prompted Dan Savage, the project's founder, to act. Dan decided that immediate action was needed, and founded It Gets Better with his husband, Terry Miller, to prevent young LGBT+ people from committing suicide.
It Gets Better produces video testimonials from adults of diverse sexuality, and heterosexual allies, to reassure young LGBT+ people who are experiencing harassment that things do get better. In Mexico, the project was taken up by Fernanda Garza in Monterrey, with the aim of expanding it throughout the country.
People and events in the history of sexual diversity.
1809: It was decreed, in pre-independence Mexico, that wearing clothes designed for the opposite sex would carry a sentence of 20 lashes, and between 2 and 18 months in jail.
1901: 41 men were arrested after attending a dance in Mexico City; 19 of them were dressed as women.
1907: Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico City. She went on to achieve worldwide recognition for her work, which was a vivid expression of her inner self. Despite being married, she had affairs with men and women. Her work has been re-evaluated in recent years, bringing her both national and international acclaim.
1902–60: Various social venues for gay people were opened in Mexico City.
1970: Mexico City's General Hospital carried out the first sex reassignment surgery ever to take place in the country.
1980: Use of the word "gay" became widespread in Mexico, after being imported from political movements in the USA.
1982: The Mexican Workers' Revolutionary Party became the first Mexican party to put forward openly gay candidates.
1983: The first march by transsexual, transgender, and transvestite people took place in Mexico City, organized by the LHOCA network.
1987: The Mexican Foundation for the Fight Against AIDS (Fundasida) was created. This was the first civil society organization dedicated to the fight against AIDS in Mexico.
1997: An openly lesbian candidate, Patricia Jiménez, was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time in the history of Mexico.
2003: The first National Law against Discrimination was passed. Among other things, the law made it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.
2007: Mexico City: Setting the standard. The Law on Domestic Partnership was passed, recognizing legal union between people of the same sex or different sexes, to establish a relationship with rights and obligations.
2009: The hormonal treatments and psychotherapies required for the process of sex reassignment were included in the Federal District Health Law.
2011: Mexico City's National System for Integral Development of the Family (DIF) reported that a female couple had become the first gay married couple to adopt a child in Mexico.
2017: Sophia became the first minor to change her name and gender on her birth certificate through administrative channels, without having to go to court to have her trans identity verified.
Musical production was by Jaxx Landry, with the participation of civil society volunteers and well-known human rights activists. These include Oscar Olivares, nominated for an Emmy for best trans artist for "Capadocia" and "Club de Cuervos"; Sheyla Ferrera, actress and host of the program "Diversidad CDMX"; Nebraska, singer and vlogger; Angie Rueda, well-known activist for LGBT+ groups; and Francisco Robledo, entrepreneur and educational activist.
Equal marriage was first achieved in Mexico in 2010, in Mexico City.