Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    Shahria Sharmin's photographic project, "Call Me Heena," on Bangladeshi hijras, who identify as either “third gender” or transgender, is on display at Open Society Foundations–New York until May 13, 2016. When Mohona, 29, turned 10 years old, her father locked her up for three years to hide her feminine nature from the world. After breaking free and eloping, she eventually ended up in Delhi. She feels she can live more freely now, but it cost her a place within her family home in Bangladesh. Delhi, India, 2014.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    A nature study in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2012.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    "I feel like a mermaid. My body tells me I am a man and my soul tells me I am a woman," said Heena, 51.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    "Always desiring to be a mother, I have adopted Boishakhi. But I wonder what if she calls me father someday," said Salma, 27.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    Flowers on the ground in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2013.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    Poppy, 47, and Kesri, 45, may not be accepted by their families, whom they left ages ago, but they find strength in each other and have lived together for decades. They have forged a friendship that comes close to fulfilling their desire for unconditional love. Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2014.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    "I am taking an exam; the result is unknown to me," said Tina, 21.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
  • Bangladesh's Hijras Seek Greater Acceptance

    Both ostracized from their families, Shumi and Priya forged a new life that is bound by the rules of a guru, a leader in the informal market for whom they work and perform as entertainers in order to earn money in exchange for an accepting home and community.
    Copyright Shahria Sharmin
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