Hijra (South Asia)

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A thriving community of hijras and transsexual people cross-dressed as females protest in Islamabad.

In the culture of South Asia, hijras are people who were born male who have a feminine gender identity and wear women's clothing. Hijras do not feel male or female. There are hijras in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The word 'hijra' is often translated into 'eunuch' or 'hermaphrodite'. Some hijras are eunuchs or hermaphrodites. Many are not.

Social status[change | change source]

Hijras are discriminated against a lot. Many hijras do sex work because people will not give them jobs. Since November 2013, hijras in Bangladesh have been allowed to choose 'hijra' as a gender on their passports. Before this they had to choose 'male' or 'female'. Hijras have their own language called Hijra Farsi. It is also known as Koti.[1] In 2000, Shabnam Mausi was the first hijra to be elected into Indian parliament.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Hijra Farsi: Secret language knits community - Times of India". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  2. webmaster (17 October 2013). "India's 'third gender': A marginalised social class". The Stream - Al Jazeera English.[permanent dead link]