The Gay Wrestlers Of Mexico

The Dish

Eric Nusbaum explores the evolving culture of the exótico:

Mexico’s professional wrestling tradition, known as lucha libre, is a deeply ingrained part of the national culture. Exóticos have long been a part of that tradition: wrestlers who dress in drag and kiss their rivals, never quite revealing whether the joke is on their opponents, themselves or conservative Mexican society at large. Most working today are gay members of an often ostracized minority for whom lucha libre is a statement of pride, or at least a campy, unrestrained extension of self. …

The old-time exóticos had been straight men harping on tired gay clichés. In the mid-1980s, that began to change. A new generation of openly gay wrestlers reveled in the exótico’s sexuality, coyly tweaking stereotypes to confront the audience with the idea that being gay could be something more than a stage joke. They also ushered the exótico out…

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