Hijra | Bangladesh’s Third Gender

Bipasha a Hijra waiting for customers at night on the road side by the park. She works as a sex worker to earn living.

 

Photojournalist  Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury  is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘Neither Man nor Woman’To see Zabed’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Sabina(L) & Anika(R) are enjoying the rain.

 

Hijra loves painting their body, so they paint each others bodies.

 

A Hijra poses for a photographer at park.

 

Sabina was collecting money for the park.

 

In Bangladesh transgender people are treated brutally because they do not have the gender identity approved by society and/or government. Although the government of Bangladesh has recognized  transgender people as the ‘third gender’ the change have not yet to be implemented on their national identity cards. The transgender individuals are commonly known as ‘Hijra’ in Bangladesh,  India and Pakistan.

Sexual identity of a transgender person  is not associated with their birth. The studies show that mostly the Hijra born as male.  As they grow older they feel like female. They are likely to behave like female,  dress up and wear makeup like girls.

 

Shohagi lives in Nandail, Mymensingh with Hijra community. She is doing her makeup before going out to the bazar to collect money.

 

According to the research there are between 15,000 to .5 million Hijra living in different parts of the country.  Mostly they live in  slums with the Hijra community as the landlords inflate the prices to third gender individuals looking to rent living space.

 

Sabina a Hijra passing time with her friends at park.

 

Konika a Hijra poses for photographer, she come to join Halloween party with a Halloween costume.

 

Families must give their transgender child to the Hijra community rather they want it or not.

The Hijra community sometimes buy the Hijra child from their parents and occasionally stole them if the parents refuse to give their youngster away.

These children have two names. One given by their parents and another by the Hijra community. In our society some people believe that the third gender individuals are bad luck while others think they have spiritual power.  Many trust that because the Hijra is deprived,  Allah will grant their prayer faster;  and their blessings may be good for newlyweds or newborns. But wherever they go they are not treated normally like other citizens.

 

Alisha lives in Dhaka with Hijra community.

 

Munni lives in Dhaka with Hijra community.

 

All images and text © Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury

 

 

See also:

WASHED AWAY HOPE

By Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury

 

 

 

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.

We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.

 

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