University Opportunity

In Tamil Nadu, higher education is opened up to individuals grouped into India’s third gender who had previously been barred from attending universities. (Please pardon the audio)

Does anyone know if eunuch has a positive or negative connotation in this context? What about third gender? Is transgender considered an outsider term by these communities?

Posted by on May 21st, 2009 at 04:00 pm

Category: video 5 comments »

5 Responses to “University Opportunity”

  1. IdentityTBD

    There's a brief description of where Hijra (Eunuch) falls in the spectrum of respect/disrespect on the Wikipedia page:

    The word for Hijra looks beautiful in Urdu (I found it on the Wikipedia page and copied it into Word). I want to get it as a tattoo. Check it out:


  2. sqr

    From my limited knowledge(reading a couple of books about it, and a couple of weeks discussing hijras in an anthro class) the term transgender isn't often used by the hirja community. The book With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India by Gayatri Reddy, if I remember correctly, describes some of the reasons why the hirja community doesn't always embrace the term. It's an academic book, but it's one that is really interesting.


    XylophoneGender replied:

    Oh nice. Now I just have to figure out a way to borrow obscure books from my local library…


  3. XylophoneGender

    Thanks! And yes, lovely in Urdu. Sounds like it's tattoo o'clock!
    Yeah, I saw some of the stuff on Wiki. It's a good intro at least, but I'm still curious to hear Hijras opinions about the terms. For instance, the article calls Eunuch an English term several times, yet there is All-India Eunuchs' Welfare Association.


  4. fox

    Years ago I went to see a musical in London called Bombay Dreams (which is of course set in IIndia) and one of the side characters is one of these eunouch . The character gets several singing parts; I have the CD! She sings about how love is hard and about how (if I rmember correctly, been a bit since I listed) if you screw with her she'll bring ya bad luck or something along those lines. She';s in love with the main guy but.. yeah, there's a main girl and it ain't her :(.


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