A butch lesbian tells the story of her queer body with the help of her mother and the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui.
In Aztec mythology, the goddess Coyolxauhqui was severed into pieces by her brother, the god of war. This film recounts the lessons learned by a queer daughter from her round mother’s body, framed by the story of Coyolxauhqui. It opens with a bright gold and turquois rendering of the goddess breaking apart and trailing off the screen. It is quickly replaced by black and white photos of Pendleton Jiménez as a child beside her mother. She describes the comfort of snuggling into her mother’s big, soft body while recounting the hurtful comments about weight directed at this body. The daughter learns to take seriously her mother’s warning, “not to ever say anything bad about a person’s body.” Through childhood stories and then erotic photos of herself as a butch lover, Pendleton Jiménez attempts to reconcile the ambivalence she experiences over her own body, where maleness and femaleness collide. Using stop-motion animation, she returns to Coyolxauhqui’s story and image, looking for a way to feel beautiful. Butch Coyolxauhqui was produced as part of an LGBTQ health centre program to create films about queer women’s bodies.