Kothi (gender)

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A kothi or koti, in the culture of the Indian subcontinent, is an effeminate man or boy who takes on a female gender role in same sex relationships, often with a desire to be the penetrated member in sexual intercourse.[1] The word kothi (or koti) is common across India, similar in use to the term Kathoey of Thailand.

Kothis differ from hijras as they do not live in the kind of intentional communities that hijras usually live in. Although they are similar to the hijra in that they may take a same sex lover for a period of time (even though hijras are generally classified as asexual), they may perform sexual favors for men through prostitution or giriyas.

Local equivalents include durani (Kolkata), menaka (Cochin),[2] meti (Nepal), and zenana (Pakistan).[3] [4]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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).
  3. ^ STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE AGAINST KOTHI–IDENTIFIED MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN IN CHENNAI, INDIA: A QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION Venkatesan Chakrapani, Peter A. Newman, Murali Shunmugam, Alan McLuckie, and Fredrick Melwin AIDS Education and Prevention, 19(4), 346–364, 2007
  4. ^ http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/mw2s4j41BD