“'Even if I give up dancing, everyone will still call me a hijra so what’s the point? Why not do what I love?'” She adds that even if she were to become a traveling evangelist, her family would still regard her with the same disdain. 'I’m better off staying a hijra.' [...]
While they occupy a marginalized space across Pakistan, hijras are probably worst off in Peshawar. In all of the other major cities in the country, they are frequent sites at traffic intersections or in shopping centers where they offer a prayer for a few rupees. Many passersby fear denying them might mean a curse and so will either oblige quickly or turn away completely."
My latest is about hijras who move for fear of attacks, in the shadows of Peshawar -- a city racked by militancy. Meeting with this troupe of dancers showed me a way of life I'd never before seen, and really got me thinking about gender binaries, especially amid a society that's largely segregated along those lines. I hope you'll read through this piece that I wrote for VICE.