Photographer's Note

Here is a photo of an Indian Eunuch - or Hijra - which I shot in Delhi. The group was roving the strets, about 5 Hijras and a few musicians who were accompanying them.
The story of the Hijra goes something like this:
Men who decide they feel more feminine than masculine and would rather exist in society as a woman are members of this clandestine society, which has existed in India for centuries. The men are castrated by somewhat terrifying measures; I read about a method involving rectal insertion creating a numb pain and simply cutting off the unwanted organ.
The hijras are no longer men and live in their hidden communities as outcasts who dress in female clothing, and adopt a new female name. They make money by showing up in public, singing and dancing and making a scene to the point where people pay for them to go away. This is especially common at weddings... where they make substantial amount. I saw them on the trains a few times as well, collecting money.

To me, India is very repressed about the concept of homosexuality - for all intents and purposes it doesn't exist (which is of course impossible). This is how Indians who are on the extreme end of the spectrum can act upon it.

A very interesting subject matter, and those who have been to India have no doubt been exposed to the Hijras in some way.

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Additional Photos by David Lazar (dvlazar) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 55 N: 1216] (6662)
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