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Drag in Distrito Federal, Mexico City

Gender performance is not a uniquely American experience, although it has certainly entered into the mainstream of American popular culture within the past several years. Drag and gender performance are instead global phenomena, which occur across the globe in a variety of different forms. These pictures were taken at the annual LGBTTTI Pride Parade in Distrito Federal, Mexico, known to Americans as Mexico City, on June 26, 2016. These photos show the varied forms which gender performance can take in Mexico, highlighting both the similarities and differences between Mexican and American styles of gender performance. These photos also highlight the varied subjects that are interrogated through gender performance–from gender, to species, to culture, to indigenous versus colonizer narratives, and everything in between.

All photos by Guillermo Angulo, Distrito Federal, 26 June 2016.

Guillermo maybe coming to NYC. He is looking for folks who want to talk about photography.

Drag and gender performance in Mexico cover just as varied themes as they do in the States, while reflecting a different set of cultural values.


Gender performance isn’t always about being the biggest spectacle. Here, two artists don more pedestrian looks celebrating their love of rock and roll.
Gender performance can be applied even to leather and BDSM outfits. Here, a pup plays with the idea of species by dragging a dog.
This performer’s outfit tells a visual story, incorporating the colors of the Mexican flag as well as book pages, perhaps representing written history.
Gender performance is not always about dragging a gender separate from one’s own. Gender performance encompasses pride in oneself and one’s culture.
Pageant culture is not only a part of drag culture in the US, but also in Mexico. Here is Mundo Mexico XXL 2016.
Even class is a powerful social concept that gender performers play with. Here, an artist drags themselves as a powerful and rich executive woman–perhaps dragging nationality and culture in the process as well.
Gender performance often brings concepts of gender to their extremes. Here, an artist shows some of those extremes in their choice of exaggerated make-up and clearly artificial hair, commenting on the artifice of beauty and of gender.

On the other end, the extremes of gender can be played with to fit into conventional beauty standards in gender performance. Here, an artist appeals to more conventional conceptions of beauty at the Mexico City Pride parade.
Gender performance can also encapsulate popular culture, as noted here by this artist’s dragging of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
Culture, heritage, and tradition also inform drag and gender performance. Here, a gender artist wears a more traditional Tabasco-style dress, showing their pride in their heritage.
Gender artistry can also include representations of femininity, masculinity, androgyny, or any combination thereof in relation to specific periods of time. Here, an artist performs a specific type of femininity from the late 70s, when disco was popular in Mexico.

Here, two attendees play with femininity by taking what is perhaps the most feminine ritual in mainstream Mexican culture–the bridal ceremony–and injecting masculinity into it. Bearded gender artists are becoming increasingly visible.
Here, more fantasy- and animal-inspired artistry is displayed.
Fantasy is a huge part of gender artistry in many ways. Here, a performer blends the idea of the fantastical fairy with cultural conceptions of femininity by choosing bright and traditionally feminine colors.
Gender artistry can also be a friend or family affair.
Age is never a limiting factor for gender performance.
This image encapsulates one of the most basic truths about gender performance: whether it is extravagant or simple, it always can have a message.

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