Wednesday, July 2, 2008

transgender rights, transgender perks

Kate Bornstein writes, "Hijras are people who belong to a socially and spiritually recognized third gender in India. They are also the most universally-despised citizens of that country. When you're a hijra, you can't get a job. If you've got the courage to risk getting beaten up, you can go begging, or you can do sex work. That's about it. But hijras have an universally known and respected advantage: they have the power to bless or to curse. For example, you can't have a wedding in India--or give birth to a boy child--without hijras being present to bless the occasion. You certainly don't want one of their curses. Nevertheless, you're not likely to go long in your life as a hijra without being raped or beaten-up. That's what happens to sex and gender outlaws in most countries."

Read the rest of the story here.

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