Inside India's transgender community

Demigods June is Pride month across the world. In India, Hijras are an officially recognised third gender. Despite this, the transgender community still face untold levels of discrimination and persecution.
“Hijra is a culture. It is a tradition and a community that has its roots in ancient times. Transgender is more like an identity,” says Manpreet, a volunteer at the Pahal Foundation. The New Delhi-based organisation looks out for the transgender community, who face danger on a daily basis despite. This is in spite of "Hijras" holding a historical precedent in Hindu culture. “Clients sometimes threaten to shoot me if I don’t go through with it,” says Alisha, while others report of gang harassment and police coercion. “Then it starts: oh homo, gay, you know, all those names which are used to completely take away my dignity and to take away my whole human existence,” says Laxmi. Only the fiesta-like Pride celebrations offer the community a brief-reprieve from their troubles.

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