PresenterCHANDRA VINITA - IIT (BHU), DEPARTMENT OF HUMANISTIC STUDIES, VARANASI, India
Panel43 – Trans/Third Gender Communities and Religion in South Asia
This paper aims to look at the social and cultural negotiations that occur between gender-fluid individuals such as cross-dressers and transgender persons within ritual spaces. Oftentimes, studies on gender-fluid and transgender persons are done in isolation without taking into consideration the extent and manner of exchanges that take place when different sets of marginalised individuals interact within similar social settings. Rituals spaces, especially in India, are known to be areas where the carnivalesque grants an alter space to explore, engage and contest social limitations. For this purpose, a qualitative study (conversational interviewing) would be conducted during the Chamayavilaku festival that happens at Kollam, Kerala, India. This festival is an occasion where cis-gender men take vows to cross-dress as women in order to earn the favour of the goddess. Transwomen also actively participate in this festival as the ritual offers a space to celebrate their identity.