Mexico, Tipografia "El Fenix" New York Public Library. Book digitized by Google from the library of the New York Public Library and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb. - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. well-known criminologist and journalist Carlos Roumagnac compared him. sistency.7 Carlos Roumagnac, while defining the study of criminality as a sure " thermometer" for measuring the morality of a society, questioned the validity of.

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nando Martinez Baca, Miguel Vergara, Miguel Macedo, Julio Guerrero, and Carlos on Roumagnac's case studies, portray female offenders and homosexuals. 1 Carlos Aguirre, Lila Caimari, Boris Fausto, Sandra Gayol, Margaret Rago, little analysis of the foundational works of Julio Guerrero, Carlos Roumagnac and . Writers as Salvador Novo, Xavier Villaurrutia, Jorge Cuesta, Carlos Pellicer, . famous physician Carlos Roumagnac began the first criminological studies on.

In general, I show how eugenics, legal medicine and psy-expertises can be characterized as the venues responsible for the introduction and standardization of medical categories associated with this identity. Keywords: 1 The final version of this paper appeared in Sexuality and Culture: Doi: The aim of this text is to offer new historical perspectives on how modern westernized homosexual identities were introduced and consolidated in Mexico along the Twentieth century but prior to the advent of modern activism in the s.

In order to do so, I briefly present the current historiographies that nowadays dominate Mexican gay and lesbian studies and, also, Mexican gay and lesbian activism —I will refer to these histories as the canon given the centrality they have acquired.

After introducing these histories, I will elaborate on their particular limitations and biases; more specifically, I will focus on their lack of attention to structural and ideological changes that the Mexican State underwent after the Mexican revolution More concretely, this paper aims to: I.

Reflect, on the one hand, on how homophobia was a major force in the co-construction of homosexual identities in Mexico and, on the other, examine its historical transformations and articulations from the early s to the late s. Offer a general perspective on the role played by the biomedical sciences, the psy- expertises i. Situate some well known figures and episodes within this context in order to show the relevance it had. Examine current explanations regarding how homosexual identities developed in Mexico 2 during the Twentieth century.

However, I must say that my narrative should be read as a part of a larger and more intricate history still awaiting us to write it. This is so because the interplays between these disciplines and the construction of homosexual identities has seldom been explored although there are some important exceptions that I will revisit.

Methodologically, this work is in essence the result of re-reading some well known episodes -and the historiographies written about them- in light of the history of medicine and the psy-expertises specially taking into account the new cultural and social history of medicine [Huertas ].

What I have sought to do is to elaborate this narrative by either comparing, whenever it was possible, the events occurring in Mexico with similar events that occurred abroad, or by situating these events within the larger context of the history of medicine, psy- expertises and legal medicine in Mexico.

Hopefully, this might help us to shed light on the historical processes affecting the construction of identities, in general, as well as in this particular case. Moreover, I also brought in some new sources that so far have never been discussed, more precisely I am referring to scientific products such as i science books, ii journal papers and, iii undergrad thesis.

Furthermore, I incorporated letters and references by Jorge Cuesta and Elias Nandino that, although well known, have not been connected with the historical context I present in this text. Despite that, I must clarify two further points.

First, the time period that I examine here goes from the s to the s because some structural changes that play an important role in this narrative actually begun at the end of the Nineteenth century so I decided to include them in 3 order to generate a more coherent history.

Second, although I would have liked to include only original sources, this has proved impractical because most of the legal and medical literature that analyzes the topic of homosexuality as such dates back to the s in Mexico. Prior to these years most references to it are scattered across a diversity of topics such as eugenics, physical anthropology or ethnographic works on indigenous communities; these has led me to rely, maybe too heavily, on the secondary sources that happen to mention some discussion on homosexuality.

Finally, the structure of the paper is composed of four sections. First, a rather brief reflection on why homosexuality can be analyzed by attending to the history of homophobia. Second, I will introduce the abovementioned canon and its limitations. Third, I will present my own narrative.

In the end, in the concluding remarks, I will elaborate on the relevance of institutions and their capacity to strongly subjectify us. Homosexuality, Homophobia and the Sciences.

Homosexuality and homophobia are connected in complex trends that run along history, geography, language, emotions, bodies, disciplines and institutions Fone The latter seems to imply the existence, or at least the recognition, of the former -even though it denies the right to exist or to be visible of those subjects which it decries. Moreover, the former gave birth to the modern gay identity as a response against the latter and, it could be argued, the former was 4 forged in an historical context in which the latter was an implicit, albeit common, value.

In a sense, both concepts have co-constructed each other and have co-evolved for the last years Fone , Hence, this co-construction offers us a powerful narrative to tell, re-tell, and revisit accepted historiographies of how homosexual identities developed and became embraced and defended by particular subjects in particular historical contexts.

Their dialectical relationship helps us to emphasize the contradictions and tensions within a given society. Of course, neither homophobia nor homosexuality occur in a vacuum. Homosexuality, as well as homophobia, is embodied and comes associated with certain values and emotions partially conditioned by disciplines, institutions, languages and geographies Fone ; Nussbaum Indeed, the very internationalization of homosexual identities and subcultures cannot be explained unless we invoke global dynamics that affect and mold local contexts.

This in no way means that homosexualities across the globe are within a path towards homogenization in which a westernized notion of sexuality erases and replaces whatever categories and norms it found. On the contrary, homosexual identities are re-signified and re-interpreted within the larger background of the culture to which they integrate.

In this process homophobia also plays a role, either by co-interacting with local processes of resistance against identities that are perceived as foreign and maybe detrimental to the values and integrity of a society, or by reinforcing previous prejudices and taboos regarding the norms of gender that govern that society. Anyway, whatever our favored explanation might be, it seems that history, historiography and philosophy of history are deeply connected if we aim to comprehend how sexual identities originate and travel across geographies and languages.

To disregard how history is written -i. Therefore, on the one hand, the history of homosexuality cannot and should not ignore its ties to the history of homophobia. On the other hand, it must take into consideration the way in which history, historiography and philosophy of history intertwine with each other if we truly aim to understand the processes governing the history of identities.

And, additionally, if we are going to focus on the history of homophobia at the level of institutions, in general, and scientific institutions, in particular, then we necessarily need to address how these institutions are affecting the larger population and, more importantly, which institutions deserve our attention.

This last task is certainly not trivial because, as the epigraph that opens this text shows, it is far from clear if homosexuality was actually approached from a scientific perspective in peripheral countries such as Mexico. Indeed, this quote seems to express a fact followed by a doubt but it is far from obvious what is being doubted.

Is it the case that homosexuality in Mexico was in fact approached from a scientific perspective only in the second half of the Twentieth century? Or maybe he suspects that homosexuality has never been approached from a scientific perspective in Mexico. They have histories, they are negotiated, standardized and globalized; they develop within institutional contexts and ideological traditions.

For that matter, we should ask what would count as a scientific perspective and what would 6 count as homosexuality? And, if we believe Foucault , these two categories might be intertwined in a co-constructing process in which science partially constructs homosexuality and homosexuality partially constructs science. Piccato and Rivera Garza I must confess I find this rather odd because comparative history normally leads us to search for similarities and differences across contexts but in this particular instance biomedical sciences and psy-expertises be this psychiatry, psychology or psychoanalysis have largely remain outside the scope of historians of homosexuality in Mexico.

Obviously, there is a myriad of global processes that affect and mold local contexts. As a consequence of this we must accept that any history we offer cannot be but fragmentary, provisional and incomplete. Be this as it may, we can still assess different historical hypothesis regarding how identities are internationalized and what was the role played by homophobia 7 according to every scenario. Moreover, if we aim to write an history of homosexuality, homophobia and the sciences, then we probably should focus on various forms of institutional violence that might be anticipated such as i body interventions, ii sexist pedagogies and iii , legal regulations.

In what follows I intend to do so. Anyway, my main objective is to show how the history of homosexual identities in Mexico began only at the dawn of the Twentieth century and within a larger biopolitical framework centered in race and admixture. Along this century the history of homosexuality is mainly a history of institutionalized homophobia that, nevertheless, produced a common identity that served as a motor of change after the s.

The Canon. This particular narrative has become extremely influential not only within academy but also in gay and lesbian activism and, we could even argue, it has become canonical.


Its influence, I must add, includes major works both within and outside Mexico -as can be seen by the fact that both Ian Lumsden and Joseph Carrier , probably the founding fathers of the field as an academic enterprise, refer to its kernel as a given i. Rivera Garza ; Piccato and Buffington This historiography situates the year as a foundational moment, as the very moment in which Mexicans became aware of the existence of homosexuals in Mexico, since in that year a famous scandal took place: the Ball of the This dance was in fact immortalized by the plastic artist Jose Guadalupe Posada in a collection of engravings illustrating the so called 41 lagartijos a lagartijo is a male lizard and the term was used derogatorily to denote homosexual men , half of them wearing female dresses.

These images were published by the newspapers of the time and motivated a public condemnation of the men involved. In the canonical history this foundational moment is usually followed by an historical gap that ends in the s and s.

This first generation of openly homosexual men is usually followed in this canonical history by a second generation, the s activists. These groups collectively organized the first Gay Pride Parade in the summer of after they have joined as an explicitly homosexual contingent a massive protest lamenting the 10th anniversary of the Massacre of Tlatelolco on October, the 2nd, The canonical history finally arrives to the s and the terrible impact that AIDS had upon the gay and lesbian activists.

It was such a devastating strike to the gay movement that all the scholars I mentioned consider that AIDS utterly destroyed the nascent gay and lesbian activism in Mexico. The survivors would require years to reorganize and recover political momentum.

Laguarda actually explains this shift as a consequence of the influence of the American tourists visiting Mexico in the s. For both, the arrival of the new Americanized gay identity also represents a reframing of identity in which a criticism towards total institutions like the State and the Market is replaced by a more focalized criticism in issues like human rights, social security, and access to medical institutions.

Furthermore, it is quite problematic to claim that homosexuality was discovered in the year or that Mexicans became suddenly aware of it. As I stated in the previous section, identities normally require a collection of institutions in order to be introduced and maintained within a given population.

Hence, the problem with the canon lies not in its veracity but in its utter simplicity regarding the social machinery that accompanied these four major generational transitions. In the next section my aim will be to offer a new historiography that incorporates some ideological and institutional components that radically affected the Mexican population along the Twentieth century.

Towards an Institutional History of Homosexuality. In this section I focus on two aspects that are fundamental if we aim to understand how homosexual identities arrived to Mexico and became entrenched along the Twentieth century. Second, I analyze how these networks eventually became a concern for the Mexican State after the revolution and how different institutions in different times attempted to control the homosexual practices enabled by these new spaces.

One remark, nonetheless, should be made at this point. My narrative is centered on male sexual practices and it should not be extended to female sexual practices. This bias has two sources. On the one hand, previous sociological, historical or anthropological analyses have 12 tended to privilege male homosexuality over lesbianism as an object for investigation. This in no way implies that lesbians have not been stigmatized and discriminated —nothing could be further from the truth—, what it means is that they are usually rendered invisible and erasable from public space.

I obviously do lament the exclusion of lesbianism in this narrative but it is a topic seldom discussed in the sources that I have found. Precisely because of this absence it would not be advisable to extrapolate what we know about male sexual practices onto female sexual practices; after all, in a foucauldian jargon, we might say that lesbians were not subjectified by the Panopticum in the same way homosexual men were.

So, how did these networks come into existence? Paradoxically, the Ball of the 41 might be a good clue if we know how to situate this event. In her recent book Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution, Linda Hirschman tells us that at the beginning of the Twentieth century it was a common practice for homosexual men —at least in New York and Paris— to celebrate secret social events like parties or dances.

Common was also the practice of incarcerating those in attendance after the police raided the locations in which those events were being celebrated. According to Hirshman these networks emerged in the late Nineteenth century as a consequence of two different but related processes.

First, the amount of people living in cities by the end of Nineteenth century enabled a form of public anonymity seldom seen in small towns or 13 villages. Thus, it was possible to incur in a variety of practices with almost no risk of losing credibility, respectability or prestige.

Hence, this anonymity in a sense enhanced the migration patterns by making cities an appealing place for those seeking to engage in what was considered at that time a sexually deviant behavior.

Second, on the other hand, the amount of population living in those very cities also brought about many problems like epidemic crises of cholera and other infectious diseases.

Sewers and public baths were two types of measures that urban hygienists implemented in order to cope with these problems. And, although baths and sewers obviously predate the late Nineteenth century, its globalization indeed occur in that century thanks in part to the huge flow of migration towards cities. But public baths, by its very nature of being public but designed for personal private issues, were soon refunctionalized as meeting places for those seeking to engage in a variety of sexual practices; thus, public baths became what Foucault used to call Heterotopias.

And Capital of course added a class element with the creation of saunas and very exclusive baths in which only a selected few could enter. These new places began to offer an array of services including massages, beverages, and, most likely, prostitution and, so, very soon the elites were doing business as usual in a very unusual place.

These 14 bathhouses in particular were created with the explicit aim of popularizing hygienic practices.

Hence, the police was also ordered to incarcerate anyone who was found defecating in the streets. It is, I think, in light of this that we should interpret the scandal of the 41 ii. An additional example might serve to fortify this claim. We know that it was in this period that the famous physician Carlos Roumagnac began the first criminological studies on the sexual practices of prison inmates Piccato Yet, the general context of the asylums of the time does not allow us to claim that these served as total institutions or as models for a social machinery aiming to control everyone within the country because these spaces were also general hospitals, orphanages, shelters for the homeless, etc.

So, it is most likely that Roumagnac's efforts were not indicative of a larger and more structural concern.

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Indeed, as Buffington has shown, prior to the scandal of the 41 it was rather 15 common for the Mexican Bourgeoisie to celebrate parties in which tranvestism was a frequent part of the entertaining. This co-occurred with a political use of the figure of the transvestite or the inverted that aimed to parody and mock the politic and economic elites.

Obviously, all of this changed after the scandal took place because the inverted ceased to be a metaphor for degeneration and became a real concern for both the working class and the bourgeoisie. For the former it represented the indolent masculinity of the bourgeoisie, for the latter, a challenge to its capacity to become the ruling class.

Curiously, these last points echoed the political use of obscene literature and images before and during the french revolution Frappier-Mazur ; Siegel that, according to Zanotti , targeted the aristocracy and its languid way of life. Apparently, adds Zanotti, this led to the construction of a masculinity in which effeminacy was equated with indolence and, even, with an incompetence to rule life and labour.

So, the canon correctly addresses this moment as a major breakthrough. Sadly, it misrepresents it as the moment in which homosexuality is either invented o discovered. It was certainly not invented by the press scandal that took place. Neither was it invented in that particular time because, as I have argued, the social networks were already there thanks in part to hygienism and urbanization but the identity -the label homosexuality- was not yet there.

On the other hand, it was not discovered because, as a metaphor, the inverted and the transvestite —but not the homosexual- were already there; again, thanks in part to hygienism, as Roumagnac exemplifies.

Furthermore, just as in France Frappier-Mazur ; Siegel ; Zanotti , the aristocratic masculinity seemed to have served as a mold for the development of an inverted masculinity. Probably a more comprehensive understanding will require of us a deeper analysis of Mexico's Nineteenth institutions.

For example, in Calles created the Tribunal para menores infractores del Distrito Federal Tribunal for underage delinquents of the Federal District Saade Granados According to Saade Granados , there was at least one case in the archives that made reference to a young boy who was accused and prosecuted for being homosexual iii.

Nonetheless, the s are more important in ideological terms. The above mentioned Tribunal is a good example. According to Vasconcelos , the Bronze Race —the Mestizos— were the legitimate heirs of the former glory of the Romans and the south European empires. Vasconcelos was also minister of Education from to and in he actually ran for president and lost. He was also the main architect of the State-sponsored public educational system and the free textbooks that now are an institution in Mexico.

Mexican philosopher Samuel Ramos is another good example of the ideology of those 17 times. The book is also important for its racial and racists underpinnings that constantly debase the Amerindians by characterizing them as lazy, feebleminded and incapable of any real technological achievement. The creation of these societies was possible thanks in part to the support of Dr.

However, Bassols had to resign to his position in after heavy criticism from this league. Nonetheless, the society as a whole kept its influence until the very late s. For example, in Dr.

Lozano Garza in a conference with the title El sentimiento de inferioridad y la Eugenesia Inferiority feelings and Eugenics recalled with a positive assessment some of ideas of Dr. Antonio F.

The Mexican State, however, was not the only sponsor of these policies. Also during the s the Rockefeller Foundation began a program of scholarships for Mexican physicians who wanted to study in the US. A total amount of 67 scholarships were given and Dr. They are certainly the first generation of openly homosexual men in Mexico but, at the time, homosexuality was not yet a concern per se for the Mexican State, which tended to interpret it as an instance of degeneration and, therefore, saw it as one among many possible maladies that might affect the country.

Hence, it would be inaccurate to present them as the founding fathers of the modern gay and lesbian political dissidences and this for two reasons. First, some members of this movement were physicians e. Jorge Cuesta who was a chemist, see Schneider but, in sharp contrast to the s generation, they were hardly critical of the science of their time.

He was not 20 only an endocrinologist but also a strong proponent of eugenics and a harsh critic of feminism; this led him to promote a variety of biopolitical measures that he characterized as pedagogy of the body.

Nandino certainly saw himself as a natural abnormality; this is, he agreed with the medicine of his time. Therefore, it is not surprising to discover how orthodox were their own views on homosexuality. So, they surely knew they were homosexual, but they understood this still very much in the same terms as the Nineteenth century scientists had done.

Indeed, they might be taken as good examples of this modernizing trend that sought to bring Mexico into the globalized and industrialized Twentieth century. Hence, although they were fundamental for the introduction of psychoanalysis and for enabling the first public discussion of Mexican sexuality, they engaged in all of these activities as members of an intellectual elite heavily influenced by European arts and sciences.

This is especially clear when we focus our attention to psychoanalysis. In the case of Ortega y Gasset, it is well known that he studied philosophy at Marburg —where he actually came to know the works of Freud— and, as for the physicians, the ties between endocrinology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis were strong at that time.

Moreover, as I will show just below, it would be until the s that the Mexican State will actually begin to consider homosexuality per se as a social problem that demanded governmental policies. Studies of crime and punishment in modern Latin America have multiplied in recent years. This scholarship has moved beyond the Foucaldian study of prison design to reveal the complexity of prison life, and the everyday practices that made up crime and social responses to it.

Cities have been the focus of research based on judicial sources revealing the role of crime in constituting social relations.

Reading the discourse on crime, quite popular in the region since the late nineteenth century, revealed new territories to contemporaneous scholars and undermined received notions of subordination and marginalisation.

In the process, these scholars are uncovering social negotiations around transgressions in the context of institutional uncertainty, opening new possibilities for students of other aspects of culture and society.

Two famous robberies constitute the third case study, which claims that in front of the new organised crime in the s the Mexican state reacted efficiently. A scandalous death caused by a botched abortion provides a way to explore the impact of medicine on the underworld. Most of these themes urban expansion, Guerrero, the robbery of La Profesa, the case of Arroyo, the crime of Amargura Street have been studied by other authors Speckman, Garza uses a few files from judicial archives to document additional details, although the book is largely based on the press.

This would not be a problem if the author had critically taken on the extensive literature on penal law, crime and punishment in Mexico and suggested new avenues for further research.

Trials, journalistic reports, street arrests and investigations were ways to demonstrate the existence of that underworld as a social realm distinct from Porfirian pax and modernity.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc.

This would not be a problem if the author had critically taken on the extensive literature on penal law, crime and punishment in Mexico and suggested new avenues for further research.


The editors treat the "nefarious" ball as a cultural event in itself and have assembled pictures, including the famous engravings by Posada, and have translated part of an historical novel about the event. In the end, in the concluding remarks, I will elaborate on the relevance of institutions and their capacity to strongly subjectify us. In this section I focus on two aspects that are fundamental if we aim to understand how homosexual identities arrived to Mexico and became entrenched along the Twentieth century.

Huertas, R. Castillo Machado ; Hinojosa Guadalajara: Editorial Aldus. Rivera Garza ; Piccato and Buffington On the day of the audience, Guerrero dismissed the two public attorneys who had technically represented him during the previous months, and appointed Adolfo Dubln.

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