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A note about Hijras...

found your page on the Hijra's of India...

I found it generally good but for two things...

First... "eunuch" is a bad translation of the term hijra... it is unfortunate that is is already an established translation. You are better than most in that you correctly identified the hijra as being the equivalent of transsexuals in western culture.

Second... you must understand that every unwanted and dispised group gets labled as "child stealer". The Gypies in Europe were accused of stealing children and raising them as their own. Some uncritical authorities actually believed these unfounded accusations. The Jews in europe were said to steal Christian babies for human sacrifices. The Mormons were accused of kidnapping underaged girls to become wives of polygamamists. None of these were true in any extent (though aberations of all kinds occur in every culture... but we ignore these if it is not systematically part of the culture). And so... we have a seriously dispised group of people... transsexuals.... in the west they remain mostly hidden in fear of violence and employment discrimination. But in India, due in large part to lack of hormones (until recently) they did not have the possibility of passing as non-transsexual. In India they have been so discriminated against for so long as to have that discrimination become institutionalized.... and the lies commonly told by those who dislike them pass into the realm of "everyone knows" that hijras kidnap boys and cut their dicks off!!!

I should tell you that I am a western transsexual. I live with another western transsexual, Anne Osborn, who has travelled to India on three occasions to live for months amoung the hirja. The hijra see western transsexuals as hijra... and we western transsexuals see the hijra as transsexual.

As part of a cultural exchange, Anne is arranging for a delagation of hijra to visit the US. They will be staying at my house. I hope to learn far more about how they live in India during this visit.

But I seriously doubt that the hijra have any need of kidnapping children and forcably removing their genitals. On the contrary... I have been hearing the cautionary tales that young hijras are taught as part of their cultural training into the community about going too fast!!! (Amazingly like the tales we tell in the West!!!) Please do not repeat, uncritically, gossip, rumor, and other malicious tales told about marginalized people.

Thank you...

Candice Brown candybear@geocities.com http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/6735

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Feb. 1999
in Ritual

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