This is a beautiful and intimate portrait of Hijras in Mumbai. I feel a great kinship with these women as a transgender person practicing Buddhism in a very straight Buddhist culture. These women are Hindu and Muslim and very devout. The issue came up about their ceremonial roles at weddings and births. This becomes a trap, because, like other caste structures, that’s ALL they are allowed to do. They are not allowed to do other work, or even sell their handicrafts—people won’t buy them. So aside from these ceremonial roles, they beg and work as prostitutes.
[Click through to NDTV site for full documentary. Link in text below video.]
The 2014 decision of the India Supreme Court to recognize “third gender” persons still doesn’t include transgender men in many cases.