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Mugshots: Mexico City's Noches Transitadas

 

Mexico City’s “Noches Transitadas” parties happened just 12 times. All but one took place at Diamond Disco Club, a small bar with blue neon on the liquor shelves that sometimes rents an amazing light up dance floor. It’s located a few blocks from Plaza Garibaldi, the best spot in DF to see mariachis. This may explain how one of the night’s performers, Wera Peregrina came to be wearing a mariachi costume made of body paint, and singing in front of a live band.

 

 

If you missed the first season of Noches Transitadas, you’ll get a good idea of what went down from these photos I took for Nark. For the last Noches, just like all the other Noches, the crowd started sitting at little round tables with their buckets of beer. As the night went on, there were more and more people packed onto the floor, or standing up with cameras. The crowd at the parties is always super varied – on one night there was a vogue battle and the Drag Race-style queens came out in full force. On other Noches there would be more of a punk crowd, or packs of super-young genderqueer kids.

 

Last Wednesday’s final edition featured performances that explored the boundaries of gender, the lineup per usual curated by hosts Pinina Flandes and Julia Antivilo. Each evening a different member of the Mexican capital’s queer community was honored – they’d normally take the stage for a performance and do an interview with Julia and Pinina about the work they’ve done over the years. The last Noches was dedicated to Adore Nuit, who pulled out a striptease to Cristina’s “Beautiful” and wound up naked with their genitals plastered down and the word “PUTO” scrawled across their chest.

 

This was last week’s lineup: a ghost-faced young thing named Flirty Everdeen, veteran performer Coral Bonelli in a glittery vaquero uniform with crystal heart earrings, of course Wera in her “ultra contemporary” mariachi look. Las Hijas de Violencia, a trio of girls in floral dresses, presented their IRL project enacting revenge on cat callers. (residents of Mexico City can holler at them to bring harassers to justice.) Pinina and performance artist Pepe Romero burned tiny Mexican and rainbow flags for a piece entitled “Publicaciones Pendientes” – nightlife commentary on the hypocrisy of professional LGBTs involved in homogenizing culture (or “LGBTeros”, as the artists call them.) They wound up dancing around the stage, massive print-outs of vaginas pulled over their heads.

 

At this point DJ Robotmalaonda took over and everyone rushed the dance floor to get naked as quickly as possible. Maybe you were a straight punk at the start of the night -- by the end you were kissing like, three men at once and salsa dancing with a shirtless dyke. Such was the beauty of Noches Transitadas.

 

“We never had any specific expectations,” Pinina Facebook chatted me, when the hangover if not the afterglow of Noches Transitadas had faded away. “Our only goal, if we had one, was to create a space that would give us the opportunity to do performance, to find ourselves with friends, to dance, and to motivate others to take advantage of the space.”

 

“We wanted to help ourselves get rid of our own prejudices about ourselves,” she continued. “We had a clear idea about setting ourselves apart from gay culture. By the end, it had become a unique, pluralist party that marked a milestone in the nightlife of DF.”

 

 

Photos by Caitlin Donohue

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