Hijra

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A group of Hijra, circa 1865.
A Pakistani hijra at a protest between two hijra groups from Islamabad and Rawalpindi. 2008.

In south Asian countries including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the Hijra are people who were assigned male at birth and who have a feminine gender expression. This is a very ancient tradition of a nonbinary gender role (often called "third gender"). The Hijra in India alone may number as many as 2,000,000.[1]

Legal Recognition[edit | edit source]

In some countries today, Hijra are legally recognized as a gender other than female or male.

  • India, November 2009 [2] Owing to the Hijra, India allows passports to use the gender marker "T", meaning transgender or third gender,[3] as well as "E" (eunuch).[4]
  • Pakistan, December 2009 [5]
  • Bangladesh, November 2013 [6] In 2011, Bangladesh started to allow passports to show a gender called "other", owing to the Hijra.[7][8]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Reddy, Gayatri, With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India, 310 pp., University of Chicago Press, 2005 ISBN 0-226-70755-5 (see p. 8)
  2. "India's third gender gets own identity in voter rolls", Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN.com, Nov. 2009
  3. Mitch Kellaway. "Trans Indian's Predicament at Border Shows the U.S. Lags Behind." May 9, 2015. Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/05/09/trans-indian-womans-predicament-border-shows-us-lags-behind
  4. Tristin Hopper, "Genderless passports ‘under review’ in Canada." May 8, 2012. National Post. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/genderless-passports-under-review-in-canada
  5. "Pakistan Recognizes Third Gender", Ria Misra, Politics Daily, Dec. 2009
  6. "Hijras now a separate gender", Mohosinul Karim, Dhaka Tribune, Nov. 2013
  7. http://www.attn.com/stories/868/transgender-passport-status
  8. Tristin Hopper, "Genderless passports ‘under review’ in Canada." May 8, 2012. National Post. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/genderless-passports-under-review-in-canada