The Zapotec indians in Mexico accept transsexuals in their community. The New York Times published an article about this phenomenon. It is surprising according to the New York Times in a country where homosexuality is hardly accepted and by many is considered a sin.
Anthropologists say the phenomenon comes from pre-Colombian Mexico. In that period priests dressed both like men and women. Gods were half male, half female at the same time.
I don’t know how this was in Colombia. But the article struck me, especially because my impression until now is that the indigenous people in Colombia reject homosexuality and transsexuality vehemently. Let’ say that they seem more intolerant in this matter than the rest of the Colombian society.
I remember I met a Nukak man in the time the Nukak were in the news because they had fled the jungle because of the pressure of the FARC. I travelled to San José del Guaviare and spoke with them, that is with the few who spoke a little bit of Spanish. The man I am referring to looked very feminine to me. I had never seen that before in an indigenous community. I didn’t dare to ask the Nukak about gay people, because I was afraid they would be offended. So I don’t have any idea.
I might be completely wrong with my thoughts of indigenous acceptance of gays and transsexuals. But is not a theme you discuss during your first meeting with people who you feel are quite different than yourself.