The Hijra Village of Bangladesh: AJ_PHOTOESSAY_05

SHERPUR, BANGLADESH - SEPTEMBER 22:  Shuvoja Jahan sits by her village lake on September 22, 2021 in Sherpur, Bangladesh. Shuvoja was interested in the Hijra community since she was a child and when she was 14 she ran away from home to live with them. They recognized the first time they saw her that she was one of them. She didn't talk to her family for 5 years after she ran away. When she finally went back one time to visit them, they were angry to find out that she had become a Hijra. They locked her in a room for a week and beat her and burned her with cigarettes before she was able to escape.  In South Asia, “hijras” are identified as a category of people who are assigned as male at birth but develop a feminine gender identity. They are generally outcasted from mainstream society, and have no other way of earning money other than harassing and extorting people for money. A new government initiative aims to change that. Recently, 40 Hijra were given homes, grants, loans, livestock, and livelihood training in an effort to make them self sufficient. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

SHERPUR, BANGLADESH - SEPTEMBER 22: Shuvoja Jahan sits by her village lake on September 22, 2021 in Sherpur, Bangladesh.

Shuvoja was interested in the Hijra community since she was a child and when she was 14 she ran away from home to live with them. They recognized the first time they saw her that she was one of them. She didn't talk to her family for 5 years after she ran away. When she finally went back one time to visit them, they were angry to find out that she had become a Hijra. They locked her in a room for a week and beat her and burned her with cigarettes before she was able to escape.  In South Asia, “hijras” are identified as a category of people who are assigned as male at birth but develop a feminine gender identity. They are generally outcasted from mainstream society, and have no other way of earning money other than harassing and extorting people for money. A new government initiative aims to change that. Recently, 40 Hijra were given homes, grants, loans, livestock, and livelihood training in an effort to make them self sufficient. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)