Queer Here
Queer Here
Cultures. Histories. Stories.

Cartels, Cops and


Meet the queer activist risking it all to expose queer exploitation by cartels, police and the Mexican government - with a smartphone.


Collage by queer Tijuana based artist Simon Malvaez - you can support Simon's work here on behance.


Widespread discriminatory attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ people in Mexico have left little space for education and employment opportunities, pushing many to the fringes of society and into homelessness and street based work.

Often this means sex work, as is the reality for a larger number of trans* women who make up over 80 -90  percent of the street-based sex worker population in some cities. 

In Mexico, where over 90 percent of crimes go unpunished, vulnerable communities, including transgender women, are often victims of drug cartel and gang violence. Transgender women are at highest risk of falling victim to cartel kidnappings, extortions, and human trafficking.

In the audio recording featured above, Queer Here spoke to one queer rights activist *Christina who uses social media to criticize both the Mexican government and cartels and their neglect and exploitation of queer community. In speaking out Christina experienced first hand, just how dangerous it is to be caught in the crosshairs of the government and cartels. 

For more information on the state of the LGBTQIA+ community in Mexico and for further reading on some of the sources and statistics referenced in this podcast, check out the Cornell Transgender Law Centre on Human Rights Conditions of Transgender Women in Mexico, Letra Ese report on Violence, impunity and prejudices. Killings of LGBTTT people in Mexico 2013-2017, and ILGA’s annual publication on State Sponsored Homophobia.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.