Hijra (South Asia)
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In the culture of South Asia, hijras /eunuchs are physiological males who have feminine gender identity, adopt feminine gender roles, and wear women's clothing. The Hijra sanaths (Hindi: हिजड़ा, Urdu: ہِجڑا, Bengali: হিজড়া, Kannada: ಹಿಜಡಾ, Telugu: హిజ్ర Punjabi ਹਿਜਰਅ) are also known as chhakka in Kannada and Bambaiya Hindi, khusra (ਕੁਸਅਰਅ) in Punjabi and kojja in Telugu.
In Pakistan, the hijra gender role includes true hermaphrodites (khusras), crossdressers (zenanas) and eunuchs (narnbans).
Hijras are also known as Aravani/Aruvani or Jagappa in other areas.
Hijras/Eunuchs have a long recorded history in the Indian subcontinent, from antiquity, as suggested by the Kama Sutra period, onwards. This history features a number of well-known roles within subcontinental cultures, part gender-liminal, part spiritual and part survival.
In South Asia, many hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-hijra communities, led by a guru. These communities have sustained themselves over generations by "adopting" young boys who are rejected by, or flee their family of origin. Many work as sex workers for survival.
The word hijra is a Hindustani word, derived from the Arabic root hjr in its sense of "leaving one's tribe," and has been borrowed into Hindi. The Indian usage has traditionally been translated into English as "eunuch" or "hermaphrodite," where "the irregularity of the male genitalia is central to the definition." However, in general hijras are born with typically male physiology, only a few having been born with male intersex variations. Some Hijras undergo an initiation rite into the hijra community called nirwaan, which refers to the removal of penis, testicles and scrotum.
Since the late 20th century, some hijra activists and Western non-government organizations (NGOs) have been lobbying for official recognition of the hijra as a kind of "third sex" or "third gender," as neither man nor woman.
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The Urdu and Hindi word hijra may alternately be romanized as hijira, hijda, hijada, hijara, hijrah and is pronounced [ˈɦɪdʒɽaː]. This term is generally considered derogatory in Urdu and the word Khwaja Saraa is used instead. Another such term is khasuaa (खसुआ) or khusaraa (खुसरा). In Bengali hijra is called হিজড়া, hijra, hijla, hijre, hizra, or hizre.
A number of terms across the culturally and linguistically diverse Indian subcontinent represent similar sex or gender categories. While these are rough synonyms, they may be better understood as separate identities due to regional cultural differences. In Telugu, a hijra is referred to as napunsakudu (నపుంసకుడు), kojja (కొజ్జ) or maada (మాడ). In Tamil Nadu the equivalent term is Thiru nangai (mister woman), Ali, aravanni, aravani, or aruvani. In Punjabi, both in Pakistan and India, the term khusra is used. Other terms include jankha. In Gujarati they are called pavaiyaa (પાવૈયા). In Urdu another common term is khwaaja sira (خواجه سرا).
In North India the goddess Bahuchara Mata is worshipped by Pavaiyaa (પાવૈયા). In South India, the goddess Renuka is believed to have the power to change one's sex. Male devotees in female clothing are known as Jogappa. They perform similar roles to hijra, such as dancing and singing at birth ceremonies and weddings.
The word kothi (or koti) is common across India, similar to the Kathoey of Thailand, although kothis are often distinguished from hijras. Kothis are regarded as feminine men or boys who take a feminine role in sex with men, but do not live in the kind of intentional communities that hijras usually live in. Additionally, not all kothis have undergone initiation rites or the body modification steps to become a hijra. Local equivalents include durani (Kolkata), menaka (Cochin), meti (Nepal), and zenana (Pakistan).
Gender and sexuality 
These identities have no exact match in the modern Western taxonomy of gender and sexual orientation, and challenge Western ideas of sex and gender. Most are born male, but some may be intersex (with ambiguous genitalia). They are often perceived as a third sex, and most see themselves as neither men nor women. However, some may see themselves (or be seen as) females, feminine males or androgynes. Some, especially those who speak English and are influenced by international discourses around sexual minorities, may identify as transgender or transsexual women. Unlike some Western transsexual women, hijras generally do not attempt to pass as women. Reportedly, few have genital modifications, although some certainly do, and some consider nirwaan ("castrated") hijras to be the "true" hijras.
Hijras are not defined by specific sexual orientation, but rather by renouncing sexuality altogether. Sexual energy is transformed into sacred powers. However, these notions come in conflict with the reality, in which hijras are often employed as prostitutes.
A male who takes a "receptive" role in sex with a man will often identify as a kothi (or the local equivalent term). While kothis are usually distinguished from hijras as a separate gender identity, they often dress as women and act in a feminine manner in public spaces, even using feminine language to refer to themselves and each other. The usual partners of hijras and kothis are masculine men, whose gender identity is as a male who penetrates. These male partners are often married, and any relationships or sex with "kothis" or hijras are usually kept secret from the community at large. Some hijras may form relationships with men and even marry, although their marriage is not usually recognized by law or religion. Hijras and kothis often have a name for these masculine sexual or romantic partners; for example, panthi in Bangladesh, giriya in Delhi or sridhar in Cochin.
Social status and economic circumstances 
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Most hijras live at the margins of society with very low status; the very word "hijra" is sometimes used in a derogatory manner. Few employment opportunities are available to hijras. Many get their income from performing at ceremonies (toli), begging (dheengna), or sex work ('raarha')—an occupation of eunuchs also recorded in premodern times. Violence against hijras, especially hijra sex workers, is often brutal, and occurs in public spaces, police stations, prisons, and their homes. As with transgender people in most of the world, they face extreme discrimination in health, housing, education, employment, immigration, law, and any bureaucracy that is unable to place them into male or female gender categories.
In a study of Bangladeshi hijras, participants reported not being allowed to seek healthcare at the private chambers of doctors, and experiencing abuse if they go to government hospitals.
Hijras are often encountered on streets, trains, and other public places demanding money from people. If refused, the hijra may attempt to embarrass the man into giving money, using obscene gestures, profane language, and even sexual advances. In India for example, threatening to open their private parts in front of the man if he does not donate something.
Denied legal and social justice, hijras take on a magical persona that inspires fear and sometimes respect from mainstream society. Hijras perform religious ceremonies at weddings and at the birth of male babies, involving music, singing, and sexually suggestive dancing. These are intended to bring good luck and fertility. Although hijras are most often uninvited, the host usually pays the hijras a fee. Many fear the hijras' curse if they are not appeased, bringing bad luck or infertility, but for the fee they receive, they can bless goodwill and fortune on to the newly born. Hijras are said to be able to do this because, since they do not engage in sexual activities, they accumulate their sexual energy which they can use to either bestow a boon or a bane.
Hijras can also come as an invitee to one's home, and their wages can be very high for the services they perform. Supposedly, they can give insight into future events as well bestow blessings for health. Hijras that perform these services can make a very good living if they work for the upper classes.
In South Asian politics 
The hijra community in India has seen many success stories in the political sphere starting with the election of Shobha Nehru in 1998 for the city council seat in Hissar, Haryana. However, given the influence of Islam on hijra communities, there is a lack of Islamic rhetoric in the political sphere. Pakistan, on the other hand, has yet to see a hijra elected into the government, even though there is much political activism from the hijra community. In 2013 transgender people in Pakistan were allowed to run as election candidates for the first time in history . Sanam Fakir, a 32-year-old hijra, is running for Pakistan's general election this month, among other hijras.
The governments of both India (1994) and Pakistan (2009) have recognized hijras as a "third sex," thus granting them the basic civil rights of every citizen. In India, hijras now have the option to identify as a eunuch ("E") on passports and on certain government documents. However, they are not fully accommodated; for example, citizens must identify as either male or female to vote. There is also further discrimination from the government. In the 2009 general election, India's election committee denied three hijras candidature unless they identified themselves as either male or female. A similar event happened in the 2008 election in Pakistan, prompting a gathering of 50,000 protesters.
The ancient Kama Sutra mentions the performance of fellatio by feminine people of a third sex (tritiya prakriti). This passage has been variously interpreted as referring to men who desired other men, so-called eunuchs ("those disguised as males, and those that are disguised as females"), male and female transvestites ("the male takes on the appearance of a female and the female takes on the appearance of the male"), or two kinds of biological males, one dressed as a woman, the other as a man.
During the era of the British Raj, authorities attempted to eradicate hijras, whom they saw as "a breach of public decency." Anti-hijra laws were repealed; but a law outlawing castration, a central part of the hijra community, was left intact, though rarely enforced. Also during British rule in India they were placed under Criminal Tribes Act 1871 and labelled a "criminal tribe," hence subjected to compulsory registration, strict monitoring and stigmatized for a long time; after independence however they were denotified in 1952, though the centuries-old stigma continues. Recently campaigns have emerged with the intent of protecting the hijras from persecution. Raheed Patel, known locally in the hijra community as Pineapple Andy Kaid, has been quite active in this quest and the push to recognize marriage amongst the hijra. A hijra polygamist himself, Mr. Kaid has lobbied in earnest for the hijra cause.
In religion 
Although many hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form of syncretism that draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, hijras practice rituals for both men and women.
Hijras and Bahuchara Mata 
Bahuchara Mata is a Hindu goddess with two unrelated stories both associated with transgender behavior. One story is that she appeared in the avatar of a princess who castrated her husband because he would run in the woods and act like a woman rather than have sex with her. Another story is that a man tried to rape her, so she cursed him with impotence. When the man begged her forgiveness to have the curse removed, she relented only after he agreed to run in the woods and act like a woman. The primary temple to this goddess is Gujarat and it is a place of pilgrimage for hijras, who see Bahucahara Mata as a patroness.
Hijras and Lord Shiva 
One of the forms of Lord Shiva is a merging with Parvati where together they are Ardhanari, a god that is half Shiva and Half Parvati. Ardhanari is especially worshipped in North India and has special significance as a patron of hijras, who identify with the gender ambiguity.
Hijras in the Ramayana 
In some versions of the Ramayana, when Rama leaves Ayodhya for his 14-year exile, a crowd of his subjects follow him into the forest because of their devotion to him. Soon Rama notices this, and gathers them to tell them not to mourn, and that all the "men and women" of his kingdom should return to their places in Ayodhya. Rama then leaves and has adventures for 14 years. When he returns to Ayodhya, he finds that the hijras, being neither men nor women, have not moved from the place where he gave his speech. Impressed with their devotion, Rama grants hijras the boon to confer blessings on people during auspicious inaugural occasions like childbirth and weddings. This boon is the origin of badhai in which hijras sing, dance, and give blessings.
Hijras in the Mahabharata 
Mahabharata includes an episode in which Arjun, a hero of the epic, is sent into an exile. There he assumes an identity of a eunuch-transvestite and performs rituals during weddings and childbirths that are now performed by hijras.
In the Mahabharata, before the Kurukshetra War, Ahiravan offers his lifeblood to goddess Kali to ensure the victory of the Pandavas, and Kali agrees to grant him power. On the night before the battle, Aravan expresses a desire to get married before he dies. No woman was willing to marry a man doomed to die in a few hours, so Krishna assumes the form of a beautiful woman called Mohini and marries him. In South India, hijras claim Aravan as their progenitor and call themselves "aravanis."
In Tamil Nadu each year in April and May, hijras celebrate an eighteen-day religious festival. The aravani temple is located in the village Koovagam in the Ulundurpet taluk in Villupuram district, and is devoted to the deity Koothandavar, who is identified with Aravan. During the festival, the aravanis reenact a story of the wedding of Lord Krishna and Lord Aravan, followed by Aravan's subsequent sacrifice. They then mourn Aravan's death through ritualistic dances and by breaking their bangles. An annual beauty pageant is also held, as well as various health and HIV or AIDS seminars. Hijras from all over the country travel to this festival. A personal experience of the hijras in this festival is shown in the documentary India's Ladyboys, by BBC Three and also on the television series Taboo on the National Geographic Channel.
Hijras in Islam 
There is evidence that Indian hijras identifying as Muslim also incorporate aspects of Hinduism. Still, despite this syncretism, Reddy (2005) notes that a hijra does not practice Islam differently from other Muslims and argues that their syncretism does not make them any less Muslim.
Reddy (2003) also documents an example of how this syncretism manifests: in Hyderabad, India a group of Muslim converts were circumcised, something seen as the quintessential marker of male Muslim identity. The nirvan operation (removal of all male genitalia) was generally seen as an exaggerated circumcision ritual. In addition to these "male" rituals, the hijras took on "female" practices from Islam such as veiling, as opposed to veiling from other traditions.
This syncretism is less common in Pakistan.
In films and literature 
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Hijras have been on screen in Indian cinema since its inception, historically as comic relief. A notable turning point occurred in 1974 when real hijras appeared in a song and dance sequence in Kunwaara Baap ("The Unmarried Father"). There are also hijras in the Hindi movie Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). They accompany one of the heroes, Akbar (Rishi Kapoor), in a song entitled "Tayyab Ali Pyar Ka Dushman" ("Tayyab Ali, the Enemy of Love"). One of the first sympathetic portrayals was in Mani Ratnam's Bombay (1995). 1997's Tamanna starred male actor Paresh Rawal in a central role as Tiku, a hijra who raises a young orphan. Pooja Bhatt produced and also starred in the movie, with her father Mahesh Bhatt co-writing and directing. A hijra (played by Raghubir Yadav), has taken to profession in introducing the widows of Varanasi, another group of down-trodden outcasts, to prostitution (the film resulted in high controversy). There is a brief appearance in the 2004 Gurinder Chadha film Bride & Prejudice, with hijras singing to a bride-to-be in the marketplace. There's also a loose reference in Deepha Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood in the guise of Rocky or Rokini. Deepa Mehta's Water also features a hijra character by the name of Gulabi.
In the 2000 Tamil film, Appu directed by Vasanth, the antagonist is a hijra. The film features the hijra running a brothel and the role is played by Prakash Raj. This was a remake of the Hindi film Sadak, in which the character of the brothel owner was famously played by Sadashiv Amrapurkar, with the name (in the movie) "Maharani."
In Anil Kapoor's Nayak, Johnny Lever, who plays the role of the hero's assistant, gets beaten up by hijras, when he is caught calling them "hijra" (he is in habit of calling almost everyone who bothers him by this pejorative and no one cares much, except this once ironically, as the addressees are literally what he is calling them.)
The 1992 film Immaculate Conception by Jamil Dehlavi is based upon the culture-clash between a western Jewish couple seeking fertility at a Karachi shrine known to be blessed by a sufi-fakir called Gulab Shah and the group of Pakistani eunuchs who guard it.
The novel Bombay Ice by Leslie Forbes features an important subplot involving the main character's investigation of the deaths of several hijra sex workers.
The novel City of Djinns by William Dalrymple also features a chapter on hijras.
The novel A Son Of The Circus by John Irving features a plot line involving hijras.
In the graphic novel Habibi by Craig Thompson the protagonist, Zam, is adopted by a group of hijras.
Vijay TV's Ippadikku Rose, a Tamil show conducted by postgraduate educated transgender Rose is a very successfully running program that discusses various issues faced by youth in Tamil Nadu, where she also gives her own experiences.
In the 2009 Brazilian soap opera Caminho das Índias (Portuguese for "The way to India") hijras are shown in some occasions, especially at weddings and other ceremonies where they are paid for their blessing.
In the TV comedy Outsourced (2011), a hijra is hired by Charlie as a stripper for Rajiv's "bachelor party", much to Rajiv's utter horror.
The film Common Gender (2012) brings you the story of the Bangladesh hijra and their struggle for survival.
In the Malayalam movie Ardhanaari, released on 23 November 2012, director Santhosh Sowparnika tries to depict the life of a transgender. In this movie Manoj K Jayan, Thilakan, Sukumari and Maniyanpilla Raju have performed leading roles.
A short film is being made by Rock Star Productions, under the direction of Jim Roberts which portrays the protagonist as a hijra. This film is set to be released on May 1.
- Jareena, Portrait of a Hijda (1990);
- Bombay Eunuch (2001);
- The Hijras: India's Third Gender (2001);
- India's Ladyboys (2003);
- Between the Lines: India's Third Gender (2005);
- Middle sexes (HBO documentary includes segment on modern Hijda) (2005);
- Shabnam Mausi (2005);
- The Hijras of India (BBC radio documentary);
- Kiss the Moon (2009);
- Call me Salma (2009).
The topic of the 2012 Bangladeshi film Common Gender-The Film brings you the story of their struggle for survival.
See also 
- Cross dressing;
- List of transgender-related topics;
- Homosexuality in India;
- LGBT rights in Pakistan;
- Transgender Rights in Tamil Nadu;
- Kathoey, a distinct transgender group in Thailand.
- Gender Identities in Thailand discusses the Tom and Dee genders in Thailand.
- "Awareness about sexually transmitted infections among Hijra sex workers of Rawalpindi/Islamabad". Pakistan Journal of Public Health. 2012.
- Sharma, Preeti (2012). Historical Background and Legal Status of Third Gender in Indian Society.
- "The most significant relationship in the hijra community is that of the guru (master, teacher) and chela (disciple)." Serena Nanda, "The hijras of India: Cultural and Individual Dimensions of an Institutionalized Third Gender Role", Journal of Homosexuality 11 (1986): 35–54.
- "Hijras are organized into households with a hijra guru as head, into territories delimiting where each household can dance and demand money from merchants". L Cohen, "The Pleasures of Castration: the postoperative status of hijras, jankhas and academics", in Paul R. Abramson, Steven D. Pinkerton (eds), Sexual Nature, Sexual Culture, (University of Chicago Press, 1995).
- "None of the hijra narratives I recorded supports the widespread belief in India that hijras recruit their membership by making successful claims on intersex infants. Instead, it appears that most hijras join the community in their youth, either out of a desire to more fully express their feminine gender identity, under the pressure of poverty, because of ill treatment by parents and peers for feminine behaviour, after a period of homosexual prostitution, or for a combination of these reasons." RB Towle, and LM Morgan, "Romancing the Transgender Native: Rethinking the Use of the 'Third Gender' Concept", in S. Stryker and S. Whittle (eds), Transgender Studies Reader, (Routledge, 2006), p. 116.
- Nanda, S. "Hijras: An Alternative Sex and Gender Role in India (in Herdt, G. (1996) Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. Zone Books.)
- "hjr (main meanings): a) to break with, leave, forsake, renounce, emigrate, flee" Lahzar Zanned, "Root formation and polysemic organization", in Mohammad T. Alhawary and Elabbas Benmamoun (eds), Perspectives on Arabic linguistics XVII-XVIII: papers from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Annual Symposia on Arabic Linguistics, (John Benjamins, 2005), p. 97.
- Serena Nanda, Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India, (1999).
- "Among thirty of my informants, only one appeared to have been born intersexed." Serena Nanda, "Deviant careers: the hijras of India", chapter 7 in Morris Freilich, Douglas Raybeck and Joel S. Savishinsky (eds), Deviance: anthropological perspectives, (Greenwood Publishing, 1991).
- Anuja Agrawal, "Gendered Bodies: The Case of the 'Third Gender' in India", Contributions to Indian Sociology [new series] 31 (1997): 273–97.
- Bradford, Nicholas J. 1983. "Transgenderism and the Cult of Yellamma: Heat, Sex, and Sickness in South Indian Ritual." Journal of Anthropological Research 39 (3): 307–22.
- Reddy, G., & Nanda, S. (2009). Hijras: An "Alternative" Sex/Gender in India. In C. B. Brettell, & C. F. Sargent, Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (pp. 275-282). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson - Prentice Hall.
- Naz Foundation International, Briefing Paper 3: Developing community-based sexual health services for males who have sex with males in South Asia. August 1999. Paper online (Microsoft Word file).
- Towle, R.B. and Morgan, L.M. Romancing the Transgender Native: Rethinking the Use of the "Third Gender" Concept (in Stryker, S. and Whittle, S. (2006) Transgender Studies Reader. Routledge: New York, London)
- "Don't call us eunuchs or Hijras or by other 'names'. We like ourselves to be called as females ... Yes we are transgendered females," says Aasha Bharathi, president of Tamil Nadu Aravanigal Association. Reported in Aravanis get a raw deal, by M. Bhaskar Sai, The News Today, 27 November 2005.
- Nanda, Serena. "Hijra and Sadhin". Constructing Sexualities. Ed. LaFont, S., New Jearsey: Pearson Education, 2003. Print.
- See, for example, In Their Own Words: The Formulation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Behaviour Among Young Men in Bangladesh, Shivananda Khan, Sharful Islam Khan and Paula E. Hollerbach, for the Catalyst Consortium.
- See, for example, various reports of Sonia Ajmeri's marriage. e.g. 'Our relationship is sacred', despardes.com
- Ravaging the Vulnerable: Abuses Against Persons at High Risk of HIV Infection in Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch, August 2003. Report online.
See also: Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (Karnataka) Report on Human Rights Violations Against the Transgender Community, released in September 2003. Reported in Being a Eunuch, By Siddarth Narrain, for Frontline, 14 October 2003.
- 'Trans Realities: A Legal Needs Assessment of San Francisco's Transgender Communities', Shannon Minter and Christopher Daley 
- "Awareness about sexually transmitted infections among Hijra sex workers of Rawalpindi/Islamabad". Pakistan Journal of Public Health. 2012.
- HIV risk in Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan: an emerging epidemic in injecting and commercial sex networks. 2007.
- Living on the Extreme Margin: Social Exclusion of the Transgender Population (Hijra) in Bangladesh. 2009.
- Associated Press (9 November 2006). "Indian eunuchs help collect taxes". CNN via Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 1 December 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-23.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22208601. Missing or empty
- http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/02/26/pakistan-first-trans-woman-in-general-election-says-the-community-is-more-than-dancers-and-beggars/. Missing or empty
- "Politicians of the third gender: the "shemale" candidates of Pakistan". New Statesman.
- Usmani, Basim. "Pakistan to register 'third sex' hijras". The Guardian.
- Kama Sutra, Chapter IX, Of the Auparishtaka or Mouth Congress. Text online (Richard Burton translation).
- Richard Burton's 1883 translation
- Artola, George (1975). The Transvestite in Sanskrit Story and Drama. Annals of Oriental Research 25: 56–68.
- Sweet, Michael J and Zwilling, Leonard (1993) The First Medicalization: The Taxonomy and Etiology of Queerness in Classical Indian Medicine. Journal of the History of Sexuality 3. p. 600
- Preston, Laurence W. 1987. A Right to Exist: Eunuchs and the State in Nineteenth-Century India. Modern Asian Studies 21 (2): 371–87
- Colonialism and Criminal Castes With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India, by Gayatri Reddy. Published by University of Chicago Press, 2005. ISBN 0-226-70756-3. Page 26.
- Venkat, Vidya (2008). "From the shadows". Frontline (The Hindu Group) 25 (4, 16–29 February).
- "Many, if not most, translations of Valmiki's Ramayana do not contain this reference." Joseph T. Bockrath, "Bhartia Hijro Ka Dharma: The Code of India's Hijra", Legal Studies Forum 83 (2003).
- Narrain, Siddharth (2003). "In a twilight world". Frontline (The Hindu Group) 20 (21, 11–24 October).
- Nanda, S. "Hijra and Sadhin". Constructing Sexualities. Ed. LaFont, S., New Jearsey: Pearson Education, 2003. Print.
- Template:Web http://wogma.com/article/jogwa-societal-grime-with-aesthetic-beauty/
- Agrawal, Anuja. "Gendered Bodies: The Case of the 'Third Gender' in India". In Contributions to Indian Sociology, new series, 31 (1997): 273–97.
- Ahmed, Mona and Dayanita Singh (photographer). Myself Mona Ahmed. Scalo Publishers, 15 September 2001. ISBN 3-908247-46-2
- Gannon, Shane Patrick. Translating the hijra: The symbolic reconstruction of the British Empire in India. PhD Thesis. University of Alberta, 2009.
- Jami, Humaira. "Condition and Status of Hijras (Transgender, Transvestites etc.) in Pakistan", National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University (nd, 2005?)
- Malloy, Ruth Lor, Meen Balaji and others. Hijras: Who We Are. Toronto: Think Asia, 1997.
- Money, John. Lovemaps. Irvington Publishers, 1988. Page 106. ISBN 0-87975-456-7
- Nanda, Serena. Neither Man Nor Woman: The Hijras of India. Wadsworth Publishing, 1998. ISBN 0-534-50903-7
- Patel, Geeta. Home, Homo, Hybrid: Translating Gender. In A Companion to Postcolonial Studies. Malden MA: Blackwell, 2000. 410-27.
- Reddy, Gayatri (2003), "'Men' Who Would Be Kings: Celibacy, Emasculation, and the Re-Production of Hijras in Contemporary Indian Politics", Social Research 70 (1): 163–200
- Reddy, Gayatri (2005), With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India, Chicago: University of Chicago
- Zipfel, Isabell ' 'Hijras, the third sex' ' eBook with 34 photographs http://www.amazon.com/Hijras-the-third-sex-ebook/dp/B009ETN58C
Further reading 
- Basim Usmani. "Pakistan to register "third sex" hijras" The Guardian.
- Jami, Humaira. "Condition and Status of Hijras (Transgender, Transvestites, etc.) in Pakistan." Country Report, Quaid-i-Azam University.
- Kugle, Scott. Sufis & Saints' Bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality & Sacred Power in Islam. University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
- Pamment, Claire. "Hijraism Jostling for a Third Space in Pakistani Politics," The Drama Review 54, no. 2 (2010): 29-48.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Hijras|
- Human Rights Violations against the Transgender Community, summary of a 2003 report by the Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka
- Aamr C. Bakshi of The Washington Post on Pakistan Drag Queen talk show host Begum Nawazish Ali
- Collected BBC articles on Hijras
- India's eunuchs demand rights, BBC News, 4 September 2003
- Hijras on glbtq.com
- Collected Information About the Eunuchs of India Known as the Hijra
- The Works on Hijra in Indian Sub-Continent – Photographs (Link to most recent archived version at Archive.org.)
- In From the Outside, Timeasia.com, 18 September 2000.
- The Hijras of India Research Guide
- Why are Indian eunuchs warned about unsafe sex?
- World Press: Pakistan's Hijras
- Columbia University: Magical Stories of the Hijras
- Sangama – Leading Hijra Human Rights Organisation in India
- Neelam and Laxmi – Portraits of hijras living in Mumbai (2005), by journalist and author Sonia Faleiro
- Eunuch MP takes seat – BBC world news- News on Shabnam Mausi, Hijra MP