Rani, a transgender from North Mumbai

Rani, a transgender from North Mumbai

The term “hijra,” in India, is used to refer to transgender women. Many hijras live in well-defined and organised all-hijra communities, led by a guru. At their best, the groups can be supportive, nurturing and family-like. Out of a necessity to protect themselves, hijras have even developed their own language- a mixture of Hindi, Farsi, Urdu and Arabic. Most hijras are uneducated and, combined with the discrimination they face, gaining mainstream employment is almost impossible.

Yesterday I met Rani, a quiet, sad-eyed 32-year old hijra from North Mumbai. Born a boy biologically, Rani prefers to be addressed as a woman. At an early age, she was forced to leave her family home because she started identifying herself as a hijra. She earns her living by begging and performing at ceremonies.
"My dream is to lead a respectful life without any discrimination against people like us."

Section 377 has been used to threaten,extort, and blackmail members of the hijra community, many of whom are forced into sex trade to survive.
Let's make her dream come true. Sign the petition to decriminalize homosexuality in India. Link to the petition: