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Hijras, Bangladesh's ‘Third Gender’, Celebrate First Ever Pride Parade

Hijra pride 2014 festival began in Bangladesh on Sunday. The photo was taken from the Sahabgh Raju Circle in Dhaka. Image by Anwar Hossain Joy. Copyright Demotix (9/11/2014)

The 2014 Hijra Pride festival began in Bangladesh on Sunday. The photo was taken from the Sahabgh Raju Circle in Dhaka. Image by Anwar Hossain Joy. Copyright Demotix (9/11/2014)

About a thousand Hijras took part in Bangladesh's first ever “Hijra Pride” in the capital Dhaka last week to celebrate the first anniversary of their recognition as a separate gender by the government. Hijra is a feminine gender identity that some people who are born male or intersex adopt, often labeled as transgender by the West.

Bangaldesh's about 10,000 Hijras have long suffered discrimination. At this first pride parade, participants with colourful dresses sang and danced in the streets carrying Bangladesh flags and banners, one of which read: “The days of stigma, discrimination and fear are over.”

Take a look at some snapshots of the event:

Transgender people parade with the national flag in Dhaka to mark 'Hijra Pride'. Image by Sony Ramany. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

People parade with the national flag in Dhaka to mark ‘Hijra Pride’. Image by Sony Ramany. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

The colourful rally organised by the Bandhu Social Welfare Society  took lace near the press club, Dhaka. Image by SK Hasan Ali. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

The colourful rally organised by the Bandhu Social Welfare Society took place near the press club, Dhaka. Image by SK Hasan Ali. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Celebrating ' Third gender (Hijra) Pride 2014' in Bangladesh. Image by Sk. Hasan Ali. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Celebrating ‘ Third gender (Hijra) Pride 2014′ in Bangladesh. Image by Sk. Hasan Ali. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Celebrating Hijra Pride Parade. Image by Mohammad Asad. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Celebrating Hijra Pride Parade. Image by Mohammad Asad. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Bangladeshi hijras - transgenders - dance in the street during a pride parade. Image by  Indrajit Ghosh. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Bangladeshi Hijras dance in the street during a pride parade. Image by Indrajit Ghosh. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Hijra celebrate with a beauty talent show during the evening. Image by Mohammad Asad. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

Hijra celebrate with a beauty talent show during the evening. Image by Mohammad Asad. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

‘Hijra pride 2014’ ended with a talent hunt competition. Image by Mohammad Asad. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

‘Hijra pride 2014’ ended with a talent hunt competition. Image by Mohammad Asad. Copyright Demotix (10/11/2014)

People also celebrated with them and shared support via Twitter:

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