Transgender people have been a part of India’s culture for 4,000 years. Although not directly corollary with American understanding of transgender identity, the colloquial term “hijra” encompasses cross-dressers, eunuchs, intersex people, and transgender individuals. India’s history with hijra communities goes back millennia, to when hijras were revered as a faith group, performing special ceremonies and rituals. But in modern times, however, this small segment of the population has endured a steady decline in religious respect and a rise in discrimination.
July 6 / The Advocate