In April 2014, the Indian Supreme Court officially recognised the existence of the 'third gender', but little has changed on the ground level. Even today, there are many misconceptions about who transgenders are, what the word hijra means, and the unique challenges they face on a daily basis.
Now, on the occasion of the ongoing Transgender Awareness Week (#TransWk), which began on 14 November and ends on 20 November, a dance troupe called The Dancing Queens — founded in 2009 by Abhina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode, three transgender individuals who also belong to the hijra community — will be performing at Mumbai's Godrej India Culture Lab on Wednesday, using dance as a medium to demand equal rights and to spread awareness of their reality.
In the video below, Jadhav and Sarode talk about their deep connection to dance and why having an appreciative audience at their shows is empowering.
As some may have rightly assumed, it is very difficult for a transgender to get a job in India. In this video, Aher discusses some of the realities hijras faced after the institution of a number of British colonial laws in the 19th century, and why the Dancing Queens are an important voice in shaping a future for the community.
More details about the event at Godrej India Culture Lab can be found here.
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