Hijra is a South Asian word, often but not always used in derogatory manner to refer to an organized community of mainly trans-women, but also including intersex people, effeminate gay men, cross dressers and even straight men that do drag and dance for a living. In Pakistan, the appropriate and respectful term is Khwajasara.

Traditionally, Khwajasaras have earned their living by dancing in weddings, celebrating births and mourning with families at funerals. Over tim, with  increased social ostracization, many are now also earning through begging and sex work. More recently, khwajasaras have also started identifying as Transgender, especially as visibility and activism from within the Khwajasara community increases.

Therefore, when meeting a trans* woman from the Khwajasara community, it’s best to ask her what term she prefers.

And please always remember: it is your body and your life, and whatever you want to call yourself, that is your full right and entitlement and we support it one hundred percent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.