Construction of the Hijra Identity

The purpose of this research paper was to be able to discern the various focal points
that consist of the building of the hijra identity. The paper required a study of the
different spaces in a Hijra’s life, such as religion, government, the media, and their
personal lives. I deployed the method of interpretivism, in my open-ended one-on-one
structured interviews with the participants. The field work was done in two phases in
two separate physical spaces. For this paper, I have drawn extensively from the works
of Hossain, Nanda, Stenquist and Butler. The findings suggest a definite correlation
between a traumatic childhood and the individuals joining the community, rather than
the participants willfully chosen lifestyle choice. The gap with the mainstream
societies is further solidified due to a lack of education. An important aspect of my
research is to investigate the outcome of the 2006 formal acknowledgement from the
government of the hijra community and understand in detail the process that was
involved in establishing the aforementioned law.

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