Juana Gallo

Juana Gallo (Joan Rooster) (1876-1958) is the alias of a famous woman who lived in Zacatecas (Mexico). Her biography moves between a few details known and the myth. A myth fed by herself drinking and talking in bars, which was then amplified by an eponymous film of 1961, falsely focused on its revolutionary character. Her figure has been the subject of popular songs, biographies, and exhibitions about his life.

Angela Ramos Aguilar, the real name of Juana Gallo, from an early age showed a spunky personality that did not follow the strict female code. Her alias comes from a professor who exclaimed “purge away Juana Gallo!” when she opened the head by a stone thrown to another boy. They say she was mannish and that from afar could look like a man, but probably due more to his quarrelsome and bellicose nature, facing the power to defend freedom of worship in the Cristero War (1926-1929), than a matter of sexual orientation. At 13 she runs away from home with a captain of the Acordada of Zacatecas, with she had a son who died shortly after birth. She never married or had more children.

Thus, the alias of a woman who did not behave like the rest, which looked “masculine” characteristics, eventually became an expression to refer to homosexual women or a reference to avoid.

Juana Gallo, photographed in black and white, with one leg on a stool.

Juana Gallo, another example of the appropriation of courage and strength, by men. 

See: Marimacho, Virago

Related: Juana tres cocos


Other words of the same language:

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  • Thank you for sharing this information, it’s always good to learn more about the real history of what happened with a certain event or persons.
    And it is the first time I read something about Juana Gallo. One more time thank you.

    • Wow! Thank you very much, Leticia!

      All information is on the network, but we relate it from our approach to sexual diversity. With these words, we claim that strength and courage are characteristic of some people, not exclusive of men.


  • Growing up and marrying into a Mexican Family the Term Juana Gallo was not a term used to describe Homosexuality but it was and still is a term used to describe a woman whom has a very strong personaitlity and character. One whom Always gives her opinion without being asked and speaks out against someone whom is Not telling the truth about someone or something. She is usually the one in the family the keeps everyone from telling lies. Usually a woman with high morals but unfortunately that’s what makes her not very popular with friends and family members. The one that never shuts up!
    You as a woman either Hate it or learn to love The term Juana Gallo. Usually the term starts out AY! Juana Gallo!
    That was my nickname given to me by my Father-in-Law who died to soon. He was a lovely man and left a hole as big as the Grand Canyon within the family we we’re never the same. So Hail to all the Juana Gallos out there Stand Tall be proud.

    • Hello dear!

      What a beautiful story you have told us! Many thanks.

      As happens on so many occasions, words and expressions have their own life, and people use them as they want (fortunately). We agree with what you say. That’s more, there are many words, like Virago, that initially meant strong, courageous, determined woman, but because of patriarchal society, these women are like men. So, they are expressions that end up being used to denominate lesbians.

      Hurray Juana Gallo of the world!
      Hurray Virago of the world!

    • True, there is more sexual diversity in people than they are willing to admit. That has always happened. We do not understand very well your comment concerning Juana Gallo, but we think it is important for people to know who she was and where this expression comes from because it is an example of men’s appropriation of values and capacities, which does not belong to any gender. Thanks for your comment.