And as our species continues to evolve. . .

Pakistan Recognizes Third Gender

Late on Wednesday, the Supreme Court in Pakistan ordered that the government officially recognize a separate gender for Pakistan’s hijra community, which includes transgendered people, transvestites, and eunuchs. The court told the federal government to begin allowing people to identify as hijras when registering for a national identity card.

Such cards are necessary for everything from voting to more informal situations; patrons must present the card at cybercafes before surfing the Internet, for example. Not having an identity card, or having one with incorrect information, leaves a person vulnerable and easily excluded from society.

Way to go, Pakistan. Even MySpace and Facebook don’t recognize the third gender yet.

A similar decision was recently made in India as well.

The transexual movement for equal rights in South Asia is fascinating and ancient, distinct in many ways from their Western counterparts.

The right to an ID card for a third sexed individual is a recent development there, but in India there are several hijras (or aravanis, as some prefer to be called, after the god Aravan) already who have succeeded in being elected as political officials.

One very interesting development that I did not expect. . .

Are governments in India and Pakistan using the aravanis to recover bank loans?

Transvestites Say it’s Payback Time

The transgender community in Sindh is thrilled by the recent advice given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to the government to use the services of transvestites for the recovery of outstanding bank loans from defaulters.

. . .

“If we are asked to recover loans, we will constitute special teams and right after getting the list we would rush to the houses of these defaulters with drums and other musical instruments and would sing and dance to ask them for the money,” said Shabnam, who usually stands on the main roundabout of Regal Chock.

One can’t help but wonder if the legendary mystical powers of the hijras are another reason why their governments want them for this job.

Whatever we say…for good or for bad, will come true. Just as we bless with such intensity so also we curse with such power that if we curse any person the food in their house will get spoiled. I know this is so because I have done it myself.

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To this day, many Indians believe eunuchs have occult powers so they pay for their dancing and singing.

According to the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, which dates from around the third century BC, the god king Ram blessed eunuchs. When Ram was banished, he urged all male and female followers to go home.

Being neither, the eunuchs waited 14 years for his return from exile. Ram blessed the eunuchs for their devotion.

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Do you know why we hijras travel free on the trains from Poona northward? There is no rule to ask us for the train fare. Not even the central Government can ask us. What happened was that there was a hijra who had just got operated on, she had become nirvan. The people, after the operation, put her on a train. It was just the seventh day after the operation. The people traveling in the train were making fun of her and bullying her. The ticket collector and the others made her get down from the train. On top of this the ticket collector kicked her.

“Mata,” she prayed, “if you’re true, and it is true that you’ve given me back my life, and if my procession is to be done after 30 days, if you want to same my life, this train must not start from here. Then only will I realize you are the truth.”

Then the signal was given and the train had to start, but it could not start. There was a big crowd around the hijra and the people asked her what had happened. She said, “I’m an old hijra and I’ve just got the operation done under the name of the Mata. If you want the train to start, put me back on the train.” Then they made her sit in the train, but still the train would not start. Then she realized that she had prayed wrong, so she put a cloth on her head and prayed to Mata: “I want this train to start. Then only I can reach my place and also the other passengers can go with difficulty.”

Then the train immediately started. From this time on there was no rule to ask a ticket from the hijras on any train. We can even dance in the train, beg in the train, nobody will say anything. From Poona onward, the whole of North India we can travel.

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Reality-warping transvestites and transexuals hired by South Asian governments to recover defaulted loans? The future is amazing.

(Image by That Gypsy Boy)

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