India’s Third Gender: Transgender people in Hindu Society

On Nov. 3, 2015, the Religious Freedom Center and the Pulitzer Center presented a conversation about India’s transgender women.

Though India’s Supreme Court recognizes transgender as a third legal gender, transgender women continue to live on the fringes of society and struggle to find legitimate employment. HIV/AIDS has plagued the transgender population for decades, yet these women are sometimes denied hospital care and treatment.

Journalist Michael Edison Hayden and photographer Sami Siva discussed their journey to Koovagam, one of the world’s largest transgender festivals, to profile some of India’s transgender women, and offer an intimate glimpse into their lives.

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