India and Pakinstan now officially recognize the “third gender” of hijara – transgendered people, transvestites, and eunuchs.
The transexual movement for equal rights in South Asia is fascinating and ancient, distinct in many ways from their Western counterparts.
The right to an ID card for a third sexed individual is a recent development there, but in India there are several hijras (or aravanis, as some prefer to be called, after the god Aravan) already who have succeeded in being elected as political officials.
Additionally, hijara are being hired by governments to recover defaulted loans because hijara are believed to possess occult powers.
Electric Children: Pakistan Supreme Court Recognizes Third Gender
January 18, 2010 at 2:52 am
This is the single most awesome culture news I’ve read yet this year.
January 25, 2010 at 12:15 am
I love the picture here.
Dis trap be relevant to my interests.
Also of interest, I’ve been meaning to check out this book forever : The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore.