India now has a third gender. The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.
In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country … and recognition as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue."
Progressive legislation! Always awesome—2 to 3 million people identify as transgender in India—and always uneven, contextual, fascinating. From the Washington Post:
The progressive ruling applies only to eunuchs – or hijras as they are called in Hindi — in India and not to gays, lesbians [...]
"According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 53.8 percent of anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women, the majority of whom were people of color. In 2011, the percentage of transgender women in this statistic was substantially lower: 40 percent. For transgender women, it doesn’t get better, apparently. We experience most of the violence with none of the visibility. We are the dead and we are the forgotten. In the face of a world that erases us, remembering this violence is more than just an obligation—it is an act of resistance." [Jacobin]
I'm fine with talking about it as long as she won't bring it up to other people because then I bet that they would just open it up, and then half the city or the world would know. And reporters would be banging on my door, and that would feel painful. Like, "How do you feel being transgender?" or "Why did you change your name?" or "I like your new haircut. What's your favorite kind of jewel?"
Here is one my favorite radio stories of all time. It's about two adorably precocious (the best kind of precocious) eight year-old girls and you should really listen to it.