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Anthropologists have traced the Meso-American acceptance of people of mixed gender back to pre-Columbian Mexico accounts of Aztec priests and Mayan gods who cross-dressed and were considered both male and female. In the shifting landscape of gender identity, what might we learn from the indigenous Zapotec people of Oaxaca’s isthmus region, who embrace a third gender—the muxe—within their communities? Bamby Salcedo, founder of the Los Angeles-based [email protected] will join in a conversation with Victor Cata, Zapotec historian, writer, and linguist; Zackary Drucker, transgender multimedia artist and producer of the Amazon series Transparent; and Maritza Sanchez, Embajadora de los muxes en el exterior (Ambassador of Muxes in the Exterior.)

Bilingual program Spanish/English with simultaneous interpretation by Antena Los Ángeles

Join us for a post-program reception in the Library’s courtyard!

Víctor Cata

Víctor Cata was born in Juchitán de Saragoza, Oaxaca. He holds a masters degree in American Indian Linguistics and is a grant recipient his work in Indigenous Literature from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.  Cata is the author of Nacasinú diixa / Sólo somos memoria, a bilingual book in Zapotec and Spanish. His stories have been made into plays and translated into Portuguese. He is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte and was a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian studying tonal phenomena in Zapotec languages.

Zackary Drucker

Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, cultural producer, and trans woman who breaks down the way we think about gender, sexuality, and seeing. She has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals including the Whitney Biennial 2014, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, MCA San Diego, and SF MoMA, among others. Drucker is an Emmy-nominated Producer for the docu-series This Is Me, as well as a Producer on Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent.

Maritza Sanchez

Maritza Sanchez is from Santa Ana del Valle, Oaxaca and migrated to LA in the 90s as a teenager.  As a child, she recalls her sexual orientation changing when she found out she was attracted to men.  She only felt comfortable “coming out of the closet” in Los Angeles, a place that felt safe and where she’d be tolerated for her sexual preference.  Sanchez identifies as transgender, and as “muxe,” a Oaxacan, Mexican designation from the Zapotec Isthmus region of the state.  After many decades of working with others to promote tolerance of others regardless of sexual orientation, she is respected and admired by the community in her hometown.  She was crowed the queen of the “Vela Muxe” in Los Angeles in 2014.

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo is the President and CEO of the [email protected] Coalition and a co-founder of the Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness, a multi-service space for transgender people in Los Angeles. In 2016, Salcedo participated in The United State of Woman panels at the White House, sharing the stage with Vice President Biden.  Salcedo has been a featured speaker at the LGBTQ People of Color Summit, the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, and the United States Conference on AIDS. More information about the documentary on Salcedo’s life and work can be found at transvisiblefilm.com; Salcedo has also recently been featured in People en Español, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times and the 2015 OUT 100 list.

Main Image: Portrait of Maritza Sanchez by Ana Camus

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.


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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.