The dual beauty of Nelson Morales

Nelson Morales explores the construction of masculinity and femininity as elements associated with Mexican identity. His art through photography is mainly focused on diversity and sexual identity. 

He is from Oaxaca, Mexico and he is a muxe. 


A person cannot be described with a few words, but for Nelson Morales being a muxe defines his first approach to his art, his inspiration, his culture and his roots, his perception of beauty and his personal development; being a muxe defines who he is and documenting it, is his art.


In the Zapotec region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the term muxe is used to describe "a homosexual person or a person who fulfills certain feminine roles; a third gender" but in reality, the muxe culture is a more complex identity. According to the artist, other genres of muxes exist: Those who do not assume an exaggeratedly feminine identity are the ‘nguiiu muxes’ —which means man in Zapotec. There is also the ‘muxe gunaa’ —which means woman— and who wants to be a woman, or the ‘muxe huiini’, who is the child muxe».

Nelson Morales began to portray his culture to rediscover his roots and search for his acceptance and liberation. Photography became his form of expression but above all, a mechanism of belonging, to appreciate and accept himself as a muxe. Since the age of 16, he has lived surrounded by muxes and has been attracted to their lifestyle. His project began in Oaxaca documenting the daily life of his culture and the beauty this culture represents.

Each photograph of Nelson Morales has a feeling printed to inspire others, especially new generations so that they do not stop believing in themselves, fighting for their dreams no matter where they come from, what color is their skin or what their preferences are.