De-Indianizing Hijra: intra-regional effacements and inequalities in South Asian queer space

A. Hossain

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This essay advances a regional critique of the Indian-centric scholarship on hijra, a publicly institutionalized subculture of people typically assigned a male gender at birth who often sacrifice their genitals in return for spiritual power. The unexamined Indian hegemony in hijra studies works to reify not only hijra but also India. Drawing on ethnographic research in Bangladesh, this essay offers preliminary reflections on the need to adopt a regional approach in place of a national frame in studies of gender and sexuality, arguing that hijra subjectivities are constituted at the interstice of intra-, inter-, and transregional comings and goings. The regional approach proposed here also allows us to take into account the intraregional and cross-scalar inequalities within the geopolitically constructed South Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalTransgender Studies Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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