'A Win for All of Us': How Trans Influencer Wendy Guevara Conquered Mexico (2024)

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The streets surrounding the Angel of Independence in Mexico City filled with smiling faces on a warm night in mid-August. People waved flags, crowds chanted and clapped, and cars honked their horns. If this were any other night, you might assume a major soccer team had just earned a championship trophy and brought it out to the fans. But a very different win was being celebrated that night — and by a completely different group of people.

On Aug. 13, Wendy Guevara, a transgender internet star known for her candid livestreams and hilarious videos, won La Casa de Los Famosos México. This Celebrity Big Brother-inspired reality show, which ran for nearly three months this summer, was a massive spectacle in Mexico, completely shattering television rating expectations, with more than 20 million viewers tuned in during the finale. Episodes of the show aired daily, with Sunday primetime elimination episodes taking over the Mexican network Canal de Las Estrellas. The show saw people like La Familia P’Luche actress Bárbara Torres, Kabah singer Apio Quijano, and actor-turned-politician Sergio Mayer competing in mini-challenges with the goal of staying in La Casa.

In Mexico City, queer and trans folks gathered in the LGBTQ-friendly Zona Rosa neighborhood for a massive finale watch party to witness history: a trans woman celebrated on national television.

“People started watching TV again: little kids, older people, everyone,” Guevara tells Rolling Stone in mid-September a few weeks after her win. “Me quedé con el ojo cuadrado. [It left me wide-eyed.] I was completely surprised by the reaction.”

Guevara’s win on La Casa marks a monumental shift in the portrayal of the queer community, and specifically trans people, in Latine media. “Wendy’s win is a win for all of us,” says Bamby Salcedo, the leader of the TransLatin@ Coalition. “She’s given us hope — hope that our world is becoming more sensitive, that the violence we experience could not just possibly diminish but ultimately be eliminated. Wendy has been an iconic symbol for that.”

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Salcedo hopes Guevara’s win leads to increased visibility of the trans experience onscreen, especially in Mexico, the second-most dangerous country in the world to be trans, according to the BBC. Televisa, “one of the biggest influencers in how people think and act in Mexico,” according to Salcedo, hasn’t always been so friendly to queer people on its platform. She points to the network’s alleged treatment of Rebelde star Christian Chávez after he was outed as gay in 2007. (He was seen less and less on air after revealing his sexuality.) “It sent a message to the broader public about how to think about us,” she says.

With Guevara’s win, though, things seem to be changing. TelevisaUnivision will be airing a Guevara-focused reality series, Perdida Pero Famosa, on its streaming service ViX starting Thursday. And Augusto Rovegno, the Senior Vice President of Content at TelevisaUnivision’s streaming platform, VIX, says the reality show is part of the network’s “commitment to our growing and diverse audience.”

“Guevara’s participation of La Casa de los Famosos México created a movement that transcended the screen, connecting with the public in a unique way on an international scale,” Rovegno says in a statement to Rolling Stone. “The show broke records and became a never-seen phenomenon… thanks to talent like Wendy.”

For Guevara, her new Perdida Pero Famosa show will be a way for her to showcase her personality as she navigates the stress, loneliness, and excitement of newfound fame. “If I was transparent on Casa de los Famosos, I’m going to be even more transparent on this show,” she says. “It’ll be más chingón.”


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With the new show in mind, Guevara says she’s already planning “la reinvencíon de Wendy:” she’s thinking music, telenovela roles, and even a foray into the U.S. market, which was robbed of seeing La Casa, since the show only aired in Mexico. She’s also thought a lot about being described as a “representation for the LGBTQ community.” She refuses to see herself as such.

“While I appreciate that so much,” Guevara says, pausing mid-sentence to pose for a selfie from squealing fans. “I don’t want to be seen as a representation. I’d rather be seen as a reflection of what trans women face.”

“What if I f*ck up someday?” Guevara adds with a laugh. “They’re gonna crucify me!”

Guevara was first introduced to Spanish-speaking audiences back in 2017 when she and her friend Paolita Suarez went viral thanks to a video of the two getting lost in a forest. In the video, the besties joked about being “perdidas” with nowhere to go. They deepened their voices, joked about their trans identity, and cackled about their situation. It was them just being themselves. At the time, the duo had just a few followers and would post videos that would get few views. Since then, las perdidas built an intense social media presence, often livestreaming their shenanigans and simply chismeando online.

Guevara’s candor translated on-screen during La Casa as she reached even more viewers, especially those who aren’t chronically online. Every week as the show aired, thousands of Mexicans would log on to cast their vote for Guevara. Many of her fans connected with her infectious smile, charisma, and unfiltered approach to telling stories about her life, similar to her livestreams on social media.

She never shied away from speaking about taboo subjects, including the intricacies of her trans identity and her past as a sex worker. She’d share anecdotes about her clients and her early experiences on the street. She understands how stigmatized sex work is, especially in Mexico.

“A lot of people don’t talk about sex work, but I’m transparent about my origins,” she says. “We feel, we laugh, we cry. I hope it helps people respect the lives of others.”The conversations about her life as a sex worker spotlight “the conditions that society puts on us,” Salcedo explains.

With all the success and constant bookings, Guevara admits she’s ready for a break. These last few months have been nonstop, and she jokes that her “new home” is the Mexico City airport. When Rolling Stone spoke to Guevara, she was in Monterrey, on her way to shoot content with one of her Casa co-stars. She hadn’t been in her hometown of León, Guanajuato for more than a few days.

“I have to admit I do feel a bit apachurrada because I want to go home,” she says. “But this fame train doesn’t go by all the time. If you don’t hop on now, it won’t make a stop again.”

Guevara is riding that train as she builds her platform as an entertainer, releasing several catchy songs with sexy, campy lyrics, like “Resulta y Resalta” and “Hasta Que Salga el Sol.” Guevara doesn’t take the tracks too seriously, but they’re meant to be played at gay nightclubs and are fun to perform onstage. (“Come and see me/Come and touch me/my puss*’s about to explode,” she sings on “Putssy.”) She’s already thinking of recording another huaracha electrónica.

“I want something with a catchy rhythm and fun to dance to, It’s not deep lyrics or ‘Ooh, here’s Wendy in love,” she says with a giggle. “I’m not very good at love so if I did that, I’d be singing about all the sad things. La Wendy rompevenas.”

She’s also planning to visit the U.S. and is in the process of getting her visa “para ir a chingarle allá.” (To go work hard over there.) Plus, she already has a special invite from her idol, Thalía.


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Ando bien mamona because Thalía invited me to her house,” she says with a smirk. (Guevara talked so much about the singer and seemed like an encyclopedia about her telenovelas on La Casa.) “‘When are you coming to see me?’ Thalía has been so sweet and said that if I ever needed anything, if I felt sad, or needed advice, she’d be there for me.”

Regardless of Guevara’s next move, she’s relishing in the success, and hoping her impact expands well beyond reality television. And le vale madre what people think of her. “It doesn’t matter what they say. The important thing here is that they keep talking,” she says. “I don’t care if it’s good or bad. Y’all just keep talking.”

'A Win for All of Us': How Trans Influencer Wendy Guevara Conquered Mexico (2024)
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