THE THIRD SEX OF BANGLADESH

Homosexuality in Bangladesh is considered a crime.

Sexual or emotional relationships between persons of the same sex are punishable by imprisonment, with penalties of up to life imprisonment. The attacks come in succession, often with the intention of killing. On April 26, 2016 two gay activists were massacred in Dhaka with machetes.

Since 2013 the Hijras have gained the recognition of certain basic rights such as education, health, home and now are defined as a third sex.

Nevertheless, on the social level they are daily victims of discrimination and abuse, both verbal and physical.

This discriminatory situation compels hijras and homosexuals to live together, with hierarchies and internal rules inside each group.

A “guru”, the most experienced in the community, welcome the young newcomers who are forced to begging and prostitution.

Some of them instead, according to an ancient Indian tradition of Ramayana, are called to “bless” infants through a ritual made of songs and dances, a good omen for the future of the newborn.