Date of Award

Winter 5-7-2022

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Thesis Location

Honors College Thesis

Degree Name



Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Hernán García


As media representation of minority communities becomes more common, it is important to consider how such representation reflects the real-life experience of the communities in question. Rigoberto Pérezcano’s 2014 film Carmín Tropical offers a clear view of the gender nonconforming experience in Mexico. Although Mexico remains one of the deadliest countries for transgender people, over the last decade many states have introduced legislation to advance the rights of the transgender and gender nonconforming community. This places Mexico in a unique position as the country finds itself balancing between violence and progress. Carmín Tropical tells the story of Mabel, a muxe from Oaxaca, as she returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of her friend and fellow muxe, Daniela. Over the course of the film, Pérezcano establishes a strong sense of community and acceptance of the muxes in their hometown, highlighting the importance of community for gender nonconforming individuals. However, he then utilizes a variety of techniques to isolate certain members of the muxe community, in turn highlighting the danger that isolation from one’s own community can bring. In doing so, Pérezcano creates in his film Carmín Tropical an allegory for Mexico as it stands today in regarding the rights and protections of transgender and gender nonconforming people, establishing a haven of acceptance surrounded by an aura of violence that uses isolation as a weapon.