ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond the Gender Binary

Given the complexity of the hijra identity, its legalisation requires an informed, non-paternalistic, non-partisan and participatory approach. A response to the editorial "The Third Sex" (EPW, 26 October 2013).

A host of questions and issues emerge on reading the editorial “The Third Sex” (EPW, 26 October 2013).

The hijra community is a heterogeneous group of people distinctly classified as akwa (non-castrated males) and nirvana (castrated males). It is very difficult to assess at which stage the hijra bodies are as they could be at any stage of transition medically ranging from unusual non-conforming bodies to bodies that are born as intersexed. Being born intersex is a rare occurrence and the biggest myth surrounding such bodies is the automatic assumption that they come under the category of hijras.

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