Around 2 PM today, I found a woman outside my gate. Eyebrows perfectly threaded, vivacious red lipstick, and a purple dupatta surrounding her black hair like a misty cloud.
On closer inspection however, I saw the tell tale giveaways. The broad shoulders, too wide to be entirely feminine, the lips too rugged to sit on a woman’s face, and the voice, too rough and excessively used to beg, plea, and bless. He or she, was a hijra. What might they be, you ask?
In Lahore, you’ll find them everywhere. They sidle up next to car windows, ask for money, prayers, offer to bless you, your spouse, your children in exchange for ten rupees. “Your daughter will marry well” “Your son will get a high paying job” and even, “Your mother-in-law won’t plague you anymore”…
Androgynes, transgender, transsexual. Labels labels, more labels. Even the term hijra is derogatory, even though I don’t use it with that intention in mind. The third sex, seems more appropriate. After all, who said there could only be men and women? Why not a third kind? Every city, country, has its skeletons, hidden in so many closets, but why must this third sex become one of them?
You’ll see it, on almost any street in Lahore: rich folks with small noses and large sunglasses, ignoring the pleas and prayers of the ‘other kind’, as they relax in huge cars bought with so much money and not enough goodwill. My grandmother has always told me that declining money to them, is indecent, and will bring bad luck. But others don’t think so.
Lahore, open your heart to the third sex, the third kind who seek acceptance and don’t receive it. Who are more often than not thrown out of their house of birth, jostled and shoved everyday, because their own families believe their bad luck is contagious.
The way I see it, they possess way too much heart to belong to one of the two conforming sexes. They were born with their trials, why must you make them harder?