For this and the next phase of labels I want to work with transgendered people or Hijras or whatever you call yourself(see that’s not what we’re really interested in).
If you are one and you are reading this then WOW, write to me.
On a seriouser note however, Hijras are an important, to me one of the most important links to surviving syncretic cultures.As a woman , you walk around with a baggage of oppression but in this community the oppression is so pronounced that the community’s spiritual tryst is wholly and subliminally empowering.
This is from a very interesting link I found, and it says,
If asked, a hijra will answer “a hijra (or khusra, mukhannath, whatever term she will use) is someone who is neither male nor female”. There are two ways of being a hijra. The first is to be born as an intersexual or hermaphrodite, the second is to be born with a male body but with a feminine gender identity (“ruh” – a muslim term for soul). In both cases the person is “born as a hijra”.
I recently read Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal and it gave me some very empowering ideas about gender.
In Indian and Pakistani society the khusras are visible as female dressing transgenders and intersexuals who display a special way of behaviour. In general their idealized type of behaviour would be “ladylike” and, indeed, they usually behave in a very feminine way that they regard as an expression of their “ruh”. On the other side they are also allowed to display certain ways of acting that are considered to be “unfitting” for women in traditional hindu and muslim societies. E.g. they might get very loud and aggressive when given offence.
These are from Leyla Suhagi’s Geocities Webpage, and she is entirely fascinating by herself.