Katie Orlinsky

Visual Storyteller & Contributing Photographer
    
Cassandro
Location: North America
Nationality: American
Biography: Katie Orlinsky’s photography tells stories about the everyday lives of people in extreme situations, capturing the intimate moments of daily life behind larger global issues. For the past six years a large portion of her work has focused on... MORE
Public Story
Cassandro
Copyright Katie Orlinsky 2022
Updated Dec 2014
Topics Documentary, Photojournalism, Sports

Mexican professional wrestling, known as Lucha libre, is more acrobatic and theatrical than U.S. pro wrestling. Wrestlers, known as luchadores, are generally either técnicos (good guys) or rudos (bad guys). There is however a third category- the exóticos.

Cassandro El Exótico is an openly gay luchador who plays a drag-queen character in the ring, forgoing the customary mask in favor of a full face of makeup and coiffed hair. He was among the first luchadores to publicly say that he was actually gay.

"Being gay is a gift from God," he says. That was not his experience as a child growing up on the El Paso/Juarez border. He was bullied and abused throughout his youth, and struggled with addiction and depression. Today, he is an international lucha superstar, kicking butt throughout Mexico and the United States.

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