What is the NALSA judgment?

sarvesh w

The NALSA judgement or the National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India judgment (2014) was a landmark judgment in the case of National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India and others was gamechanging for the transgender community. Not only did it mandate that a trans person be allowed to self-identify as the gender of their choice, but it …

What led to the marginalisation of the Transgender community in India?

sarvesh w

The British era Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 persecuted trans people and relegated them to the margins of society. The Act pronounced the entire community of Hijra persons as innately ‘criminal’ and ‘addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences’. The Act mandated the registration and surveillance of trans people, and they could be arrested without warrant, sentenced to imprisonment …

Did transgender people have a role in Indian history?

sarvesh w

Yes. Transgender people were known to have played a role in the Ottoman Empire and Mughal empires in medieval India. They held important positions in court such as those of generals, administrators, and advisors. Many travelers have documented the elevated status of trans people in the Mughal empire, specifically in harem management. They also guarded the tomb of the Prophet …

What is the significance of the Transgender community in Indian mythology?

sarvesh w

In Indian mythology, trans people are found in various Hindu texts, such as the Mahabharata -Arjuna cross dressing as the teacher Brihannala, the change in Shikhandi’s gender, Ardhanarishvara as the androgynous composite form of Shiva and Parvati. In some versions of the Ramayana, there are references to King Ila who spent half of his life as a man and the …

Who is a Transman?

sarvesh w

A transman is a man who was assigned female at birth. The label of transgender man is not always interchangeable with that of transsexual man, although the two labels are often used in this way. Many trans men choose to undergo surgical or hormonal transition, or both to alter their appearance in a way that aligns with their gender identity. …

Who are Jogti/Jogtas and Jogappas?

sarvesh w

In Maharashtra and Karnataka, jogtas and jogtis refer to male and female servants who dedicate (or are made to dedicate) their lives to gods in different temples. They refer to male-to-female trans people who devote themselves to the service of a particular god. Shubha Chacko from Solidarity Foundation says that most Jogti/Jogtas and Jogappas do not identify as hijras. In …

Who are Shiv-shakthis?

sarvesh w

Shiv-shakthis typically refer to a community of trans people in Andhra Pradesh who are ‘married to’ the gods, particularly Lord Shiva. They work typically as astrologers or spiritual healers. The ethno-religious group is guarded by gurus who induct disciples and train them for the work.

Who are Kothi?

sarvesh w

The 2014 NALSA judgement describes kothis as a heterogeneous group, because it refers to cis men who show varying degrees of being effeminate. They prefer to take the feminine role in same-sex relationships, though many kothis are bisexual. Some hijras identify as kothi as well, while not all kothis identify as hijra or even transgender. They do not live in …

Who is an Aravani?

sarvesh w

Aravani is the term for hijras in Tamil Nadu. The meaning of the term ‘Aravani’ literally means a person who worships Lord Aravan. It is an ethno-religious group.