Image of Asia: Dancing at a meeting of eunuchs in India

AP News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2015 8:41 AM
Image of Asia: Dancing at a meeting of eunuchs in India

In this photo by Channi Anand, a eunuch dances during a rally to mark the congregation of some 1,500 eunuchs in Jammu, India. The term eunuch is used in India to describe transvestites, transsexuals and others who identify themselves as a member of a third gender. Living on the margins of society, they traditionally survive by begging, dancing at weddings or blessing newborn babies and are frequently subjected to discrimination. While the community of around 2 million is often mocked, their prayers and good wishes — or curses if they are angered — are considered powerful by most Indians. Most eunuchs are shunned by their birth families and live together in communal houses led by a guru or master. The meeting in Jammu will discuss problems faced by the community, including discrimination due to the lack of education and employment opportunities.