A Tribe in Peril: The Hijra in Mumbai

Alison McCauley's essay and photos show the forces that threaten daily living for the transgender hijra: AIDS, rape, and the Indian government.



Kajal, a quiet, sad-eyed 20-year-old hijra, also lives near King’s Circle Station. She says, “I have felt like a woman since my early childhood. When I became a hijra three years ago, my family forced me out of the family home in southern India.” She is still in contact with an aunt and uncle and she sends them money when she can, as is the custom in India. Kajal says she hopes one day to be able to afford surgery. A drunken client slashed her two years ago and she has a long, raised scar across her back.

Tags: Transgender