Jotería is a reflection of Mexico’s LGBTQ community. Jotería is more than a game, it is a source of education on our community. Jotería provides information on lingo, terms, and history, from pre-colonial to modern time. Jotería seeks visibility for our community in a fun, friendly, and informative way to bring us together and build bridges with the world around us. So get your people together y vayan a jotear en la jotiza de Jotería!
Jotería is a collaboration between artist, Antonio Castellanos and Victor Guiza and Educator Jaime Cobian
Hello! I'm Antonio Castellanos, I was born June 18, 1988 in Redondo Beach, California to, Maria Mejia and Ramon Castellanos. My parents migrated to Torrance, California from Tepatitlán de Morelos, Jalisco in the late 1970’s where they settled and had three children, me being the youngest. I grew up playing soccer and then leaving it to join Ballet Folklorico. I attended Catholic mass every Sunday and would watch Captain Planet and Chavo Del Ocho on TV as my mom cleaned house for work.
In 1995 my dad moved us to Escondido CA for a job opportunity. My little sister was born the following year. Sunday mass was always a weekend event, Ballet Folklorico was a serious sport for my older sister Lupita and I where it would take us to competitions all over California, from Fresno to San Diego.
Growing up I was privileged and fortunate to be able to visit my parent’s home town, Tepatitlán. The trips made me feel that I was very much a part of that community too.
When I was 18 years old I dropped out of college and backpacked from Tijauna to Guadalajara. On this trip, I discovered my love for photography while taking photos with my pocket Panasonic camera.
At 22, I moved to Oakland where I was able to come into myself as a young gay male. I moved back to San Marcos at 25 and I studied Photography, Fashion, Photoshop, After Effects, Film and Premier.
On March 29th 2014, I was in the kitchen with my mom and saw a EL CATRIN card from the Lotería on its own and thought, “WOW, que joto se ve!” That day my board game started to take life in my mind. It wasn’t until almost a year and a half later that I was sitting on a bus, heading to place I didn't want to be, and unable to find work in San Diego, that triggered me into action and I started to put pen to paper about Joteria! The creation of Joteria was a two year process, from idea development to actual printing of the board game. There were a few times I wanted to give up on it but the world around me was not letting me quit. I really wanted to show Mexico’s LGBTQ community, not the migrant experience, not the Chicano identity, but Mexico’s LGBTQ community, the space that I have always sought to know more about.
Today Joteria is complete with the help of so many other people. From the models who helped me create the characters; the illustrator Victor Guiza who lives in Morelia Michuacán, Mexico who contributed to the esthetics of the cards and boards. Jaime Cobian who lives in Guadalajara Jalisco, who provided most of the information about Mexican LGBTQ culture, and my partner Sanjay Sinha for always believing in me and being by my side. My vision for Jotería is to educate our community about ourselves, to create visibility for us to our broader community. Additionally, my goals for Jotería is to create a space where we can come together and get to know each other and to just have fun and help the community. This is only the beginning. My overall goal is to tell our LGBTQ stories with documentaries and films, both in north and south of the border, using the Joteria characters. Stay tuned.