Mecano: The Self-Discovery Mixtape by Leonor de Pourtalès

Mecano: The Self-Discovery Mixtape by Leonor de Pourtalès

College sucked. High-school sucked. But middle school was plain hell.

Mexico is a difficult, frustrating, dangerous place for Women. 

It’s also hard on those women who come in Men’s bodies. 

Dark-skinned bodies. 

Poor bodies. 

Fat bodies. 

I didn’t know then, but during the time you begin to “see” the world, you also start wishing you were blind. 

At thirteen, I started despising that kid in the mirror. 

What the fuck is with all this hair? Holy shit, I’m beginning to sound like my dad. Why is everything fucking hurting? 

I also discovered EVERYONE else hated that kid as well. 

Both Anibal and Juana thought I was dumb and disgusting.

He started farting in the middle of class and blamed it on me every time. Teacher Olivia believed him, of course. I was El Gordo, so obviously that smell comes from ese pinche asqueroso. 

Juana broke my heart. 

She told her big brother I was harassing her. Yes, I smiled at her often. I was just grateful she was the only one who treated me more like a human and less like a blob you can guilt into helping you with homework. 

The next day I got a black eye I just couldn’t tell my mother about. 

I was not a Woman yet, but I have always felt quite far from being a man. 

Of course, I did not know that could be possible, let alone valid.

I lived in a place that still thinks it lives in the times of the Spanish colony. 

The worst part? Anibal and Juana were attracted to each other, and I was attracted to them both.  

– – – – –

My mom used to play these cassettes when she was cleaning the house. Every singer from when she was young was there. Marisela and her heartbreak anthems. Lupita D’Alessio and her angry ballads. José José and his drunken decadence. 

But every once I while I heard this ultra-smooth, soothing voice, una Españolita, singing of a gypsy summoning the moon about wanting to bear a child, under the most gorgeous orchestral arrangement. 

And then another song, in which she talked about how she loved make-up, over what I then thought was a very theatrical piano. 

And then one where she talked about sneaking into a guy’s party, where there was free food and Coke to drink, under a blanket of synths. 

I’ve always loved and understood music well, but music had never spoken to me before Mecano.

I looked up more of the group’s songs, and started finding truths about myself in the process. 

There’s one about a girl who has sex with another girl. I was floored. Nothing I had ever seen or heard ever told me that was, you know, okay.

There’s a song about Salvador Dalí. I knew who he was but that got me into exploring his art. And all art, to be honest. 

There’s one about homosexuality. About men in drag. Once again, a Eureka moment. 

There are many songs about longing and heartbreak, and then some about puppy love. But often they write these odd ones about boarding a boat to Venus. They allowed themselves to be strange. 

I found out it’s OK to be strange.

It’s OK to be you.

College sucked. High-school sucked. Middle school was hell, but at least I had Mecano. 

About the Author:
Leonor de Pourtalès is an Editor, Translator and Art Curator from Mexico. They are currently working on a huge translation project featuring writing from Mexican indigenous poets. They are a MUXE: Muxes, in the native cultures of their natal Oaxaca, are people that belong to a “third-gender”, that are not women nor men, but contain aspects of both sexes.