The Documentary: Cassandro, Queen Of Lucha Libre

Wrestling - or Lucha Libre - is a hugely popular sport in Mexico, and Cassandro is no ordinary Mexican wrestler. He’s an exótico, or drag queen, who wears long Liberace gowns, sequins and glitter - and instead of a traditional wrestling mask he prefers flamboyant makeup and hair.

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Over a remarkable 27-year career, Cassandro has battled constant injury and homophobia, both in and out of the ring, to win the respect of his fellow lucha libre wrestlers, the promoters, and also the fans. In 1992, he was the first exótico in history to win a championship belt and was later crowned NWA World Welterweight champion in 2011.

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For journalist and musician Juan Carlos Reyna, Lucha Libre represents a mirror of how Mexican society perceives itself. Whilst not always taken seriously, exóticos like Cassandro act as a critique of Mexico’s traditional macho culture. American anthropologist, Heather Levi, who trained as a wrestler in Mexico City as part of her fieldwork, believes that the exóticos can provide a crucial role model for young gay Mexicans.

Watch it : Tuesday 9 February 7.30 pm – 8.00 pm BBC World Service

Photo By vladimix (Cassandro) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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