Friday, July 07, 2006

Bullied by Eunuchs

This is the second article from an American paper. The previously mentioned article come from a small NYC paper and this one is from the LA Times. Chu, during his move to India, had an encounter with two hijras and he share's his experience combined with some research he did. He comes off as someone who had this experience and then ran to the internet to find out what had just happened. He does a pretty good job of remaining somewhat objective, but his disdain for the community comes through.
This article did include mention of the book "City of Djinns" by William Dalrymple. I have not heard of this book before, but its probably because it's not about the hijras, but rather is about Dalrymple's experiences in India including an experience with the hijra community.

Chu did not seem to have too much of an appreciation for the complexity of the history and lifestyles of hijras, but getting american attention for them is still a pretty big deal in my opinion.

Tejal Shah's “What Are You?” video

This 11 minute video seems to have been the talk of NYC for LGBT month. I did a little more research, found the gallery webpage complete with a bio for Shah and a press release about the exhibit. Shah had to spend a large amount of time with the hijras in the video and I would love to see her write a book on her experiences researching, filming and creating the exhibit.

Are there any New Yorkers out there who got to see this video last month for LGBT month? I wish I had the chance to see it, but I live 5 hours away. I wish I had read this article before the end of the month because I have a friend who would have loved it. If you got to see if, please let me know what it was like.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Murder in the Hijra Community

It has been a while since I have seen an article about the Hijra community, but this one makes me sad. After so much good news about the community gaining acceptance in India and be able to teach people more about themselves, it seems they are now feeling the backlash of their work.
This article is about a murder that happened to a Hijra by "armed criminals". According to the article this was a shock to the other Hijras in this community because criminals usually leave them alone. This would make sense with their position on the fringe of society. From the other things I have been reading about India, this sad event makes some sense as an eventuality. If there is a positive coming from this, it seems to be pushing the hijra community to stay together and demand the goverenment provide them with the things they deserve. In this case they are demanding police protection.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Eunuchs Throw Bengal Poll Panel in Tizzy

This article shows that limiting sex definitions to just male and female can cause problems when there is an acknowledged but undefined third sex. Voter registration forms seem to be the current problem as Hijras are refusing to check if they are male or female. It seems like, especially in India, it would be easy to edit forms to include hijras, officially recognize them and then get an idea of how many there are in the country. It seems logical, but think of all the work it would take to do that we know it won't happen. Until then, enjoy the stories of people who refuse to be defined as either male or female.

This is just another example of how language can expand our world, but can limit it as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Off Topic....

Just a quick apology to everyone who has emailed or left comments here about the blog. I do enjoy all feedback, but I have not been getting notifications about some of the comments and add that to a few other projects that have been demanding my attention.... Well, I promise to be better this year. I have changed the settings so I get notifications when comments are left and then can respond. I will also be working on the layout so that my email address is easy for you to find and send me emails. I do not block any email and do check my junk box just incase.
Please feel free to contact me any time though. I love to hear from people doing research on the hijra and to help if I can.

Confused About Sexuality, They Make A Choice

This article, from a year and a half ago (I know....), paints a positive perspective of the community by focusing on teenagers who have made the choice to join the community after feeling confused about their sexuality. While I am glad to see an article about people who choose to join the community, I wish the commentary was about their gender identity rather than their sexuality. These new hijras make it clear that they were more confused about their gender identity than their sexuality. That's not to say that there was no confusion about their sexuality, but it doesn't seem to be limited to that nor is the hijra community merely about being homosexual men.

Eunuchs Not Always Born...

While this article, from last year, points out some previously know facts regarding how many hijras are born eunuchs, there are some other interesting parts of it. For example, they cite that there are 30,000 hijras in Dehli alone. I know there are no exact numbers for the entire country, but I would interested in how this number was determined.

Hijra Beauty Pagent

Happy New Year to everyone reading this. I have been sitting on some articles so I am going to try and post as many as I can tonight.

First, is about a plan for a Hijra beauty pagent.

I am not sure what I think of this, but at least someone is trying to bring more positive skills of individual hijra into the public view.