Indian Election Commission Allows Eunuchs to List Gender as “Other”

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Members of India’s transgender community have won recognition from state election officials who agreed to add the category “other” to forms and web pages asking for gender identity. Until now, hijras (eunuchs), hermaphrodites, transvestites and transsexuals had only the choice of selecting “male” or “female” when registering to vote or completing other business with the Election Commission.

The decision by the election officials follows a landmark ruling by the Delhi High Court in July that legalized gay sex between consenting adults. Advocates hailed the changes as signs of progress in a country where the estimated 500,000 hijras have faced entrenched discrimination.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Smiles on the Other Side (by Amit Kumar, Mid Day)


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