CD Muxes, the first inclusive soccer team in Mexico representing and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, has become one of the more influential clubs in Mexican football. Located at the sprawling Magdalena Mixhuca park, the team hosts games in Mexico’s fourth-division, the Liga TDP. Composed of diverse players, Muxes wear pink and white kits, with a rainbow armband for their team captain, a large rainbow flag hangs on a pitchside fence, and a banner that reads “Deporte Sin Etiquetas” (Sport Without Labels) is displayed. The group of friends that created the team in 2018 decided to approach Mexico’s soccer federation (FMF) about forming a professional men’s club and found a place in the fourth division in 2020.
“We literally arrived to revolutionize the sport at the social level,” says Marco Almaraz, a founder of Muxes’ professional club. The team has also expanded to include a women’s team and youth academy. Muxes deploys its platform to educate, promote and engage in social change that it believes can be achieved through sports. With their success on the pitch, Muxes silences anti-gay comments from opponents and gains the respect of their rivals. They finished the 2022-23 Liga TDP regular season in second place of their group.
Muxes has made it a point to not be exclusive to only those members. While the women’s team largely features players from the community, the professional men’s team has only one. However, members of the squad use the club’s philosophy and identity as motivation. “Honestly, I believe that it has helped us grow as people, because you learn to have empathy with others who can go through a tough time and need a lot of support,” said men’s team captain Mario Mare.
Muxes recognizes the unnecessary hardships that are suffered by the community they represent. According to Mexican advocacy group Visible.LGBT, there was a total of 1,791 documented cases of discrimination and violence against members of the community in the country from 2020 through 2022. On and off the field, Muxes have used their platform to discuss anti-gay issues, educate audiences on gay athletes, and take part in tournaments like the “Kicking Out Transphobia” competition held in April in Mexico City. They’ve also been recognized by the country’s Asociacion Nacional de Deporte LGBTQ+ (National Association of LGBTQ+ Sports) for their efforts.