What is Hijra? – Conclusion

What is Hijra? – Conclusion The hijras number three billion people, making up a significant portion of India’s population. It’s a frequent misconception that all hijras are hermaphrodites. However, studies have shown that only a small percentage of the hijra population is born intersexed. Others could be anatomical guys who do not reach puberty and […]

What is Hijra? – Mythological References to the Hijra Community

In Hindu mythology, the hijras are mentioned numerous times. When Lord Rama and his wife Sita and brother Lakshman were about to embark on their 14-year exile, the people of Ayodhya flocked to the outskirts of town to see him leave. When Lord Rama was ready to depart for the jungles, he addressed the “Ladies […]

What is Hijra? – Depiction of the Third Gender in Indian Films and Literature

Movies have the potential to be a strong medium for social change or, at the very least, to allow the general public to reflect on a particular issue or topic. Unfortunately, most Indian films, particularly commercial Hindi films, tend to caricature and further debase individuals who are already subjected to daily mortification ordeals. The Hijra […]

What is Hijra? – Rising Against the Odds: Transgender Achievers

Despite the world and their own bodies conspiring against them, a few members of the LGBT community have triumphed. These individuals have succeeded in defying all difficulties and attaining their full potential. The first person who springs to mind is 51-year-old Manobi Bandhopadhaya, who overcame persecution and numerous heartbreaks to become India’s and, if the […]

What is Hijra? – No Country for Hijras to Live in Peace?

State and societal discrimination The Supreme Court of India issued a ruling on April 15, 2014, recognizing the three million and a half people in India who identify as transgender. It mandated that the government give jobs, education, and other benefits to transsexual people. Despite the ruling, not all government and private forms offer the […]

What is Hijra? – The Nirvan or Emasculation Ceremony: A Rite of Passage

The Nirvan, or ancient castration ceremonies to convert a previous male into a hijra, was the most terrifying aspect of the hijras’ lives that I learned about. Due to superstitions and financial restraints, the hijras of India rarely undergo advanced sex reassignment surgery for the removal of penises and the building of vagina and labia, […]

What is Hijra? – The Hijras’ Husbands

A young man came up to us just as I was thanking Trisha and seeing her go until the end of the street where she resided. He was a tall man in his mid-to-late twenties with a rugged, manly appearance. Some instinct prompted me to take a step back to allow him and Trisha some […]

What is Hijra? – Hijra Femininity

Despite the fact that hijras are classified as neither men nor women, they identify solely with the female gender. They are very proud of their femininity and enjoy dressing up in sarees, salwar-kameez (a long Indian shirt worn with baggy pants,) and western clothing. They wear traditional Indian female adornments such as earrings, necklaces, bangles, […]

What is Hijra? – Hijras Organize into Jamat

 Every human clan is separated along community lines in order to function successfully and keep anarchy at bay. The hijras are no exception. The majority of them live in jamats (Urdu for “gathering of elders”) and function as economic and social units. The guru, or teacher, is the leader of the jamat. On a […]

What is Hijra? – Hijras’ Traditional Occupation

Beggary, prostitution, performing for a badhai (or tip), being a guru and functioning as a dai ma (or midwife) appear to be traditional hijra jobs due to a lack of fair work possibilities . 1) Beggary: Based on my experience at the traffic light and what I learned after meeting Trisha at the café, beggary […]