The Hijra Village of Bangladesh: AJ_PHOTOESSAY_11

SHERPUR, BANGLADESH - SEPTEMBER 21: Habiba and Rumana post for a photo on the road outside their village on September 21, 2021 in Sherpur, Bangladesh. Rumana was 12 or 13 when she joined the Hijra community. She was born with incomplete genitals and never felt or acted like a boy. She liked to dress like a girl, play with girls, and was always attracted to boys. Rumana met a Hijra group in the market when she was 12 year old and they invited her to join them. {quote}There are two parts of Hijra life; the bad, people bully and hate us. But the positive is that we life together, eat together, have community.{quote} Habiba says {quote}I am also a human being, I have a right to live life as a Hijra and I should not be deprived of that.{quote} She was always bullied in school for acting feminine so she dropped out in class 6. She met some Hijras in a market and joined them when she was very young. 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 21: Habiba and Rumana post for a photo on the road outside their village on September 21, 2021 in Sherpur, Bangladesh. Rumana was 12 or 13 when she joined the Hijra community. She was born with incomplete genitals and never felt or acted like a boy. She liked to dress like a girl, play with girls, and was always attracted to boys. Rumana met a Hijra group in the market when she was 12 year old and they invited her to join them. "There are two parts of Hijra life; the bad, people bully and hate us. But the positive is that we life together, eat together, have community." Habiba says "I am also a human being, I have a right to live life as a Hijra and I should not be deprived of that." She was always bullied in school for acting feminine so she dropped out in class 6. She met some Hijras in a market and joined them when she was very young. 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)