01 August 2012

Living a Third Sex Life

People express their fearfulness and ignorance of gay people. Arguing that we are unnatural or against nature. Imagine a place where no one cared who you love, or even judged you for loving the person you are with. Or even able to marry the one you love, without someone snickering in the background or being mistreated. Imagine a place where you were not force to marry a women but could openly marry a man. a place where people didn't try to take away your basic right. If you can imagine such a world then your not far from reality; there was a time when no cared who you loved.
During the Vedic era in India there were three sex groups first or straight males,  second was women, and the third was the neutral. The third sex or tritiya-prakriti are considered neutral gender or napumsaka because they did not engage in procreation. Napumsaka was divided into five groups: children, the elderly, the impotent, the celibate, and the third sex. The third sex which include gays, lesbians, transgender, inter-sex, and bisexual. Each are considered sexual neutral by Vedic definition and were protected and believed to bring good luck. In ancient Vedic society everyone was integrated as a part of the greater whole. Members of the third sex were never persecuted or denied basic rights. Vedic rishi's recognized that gay people existed and are a natural part of the world. Also reconsigned the third sex for having their own dharma and roles in life. They were allowed to keep their own town quarters, live together, marry and engage in all means of life.  " There are also third sex citizens, sometimes greatly attached to one another and with complete faith in one another, who get married together." (Kama Sutra 2.9.36)  Gay men could openly blend with society or could dress and behave as a female. Third sex individuals could work as barbers or heir stylist, masseurs, and house servants. Some did engage in various type of prostitution.
Third sex citizens were categorized according to weather their physical characteristics were either male or female. Kilba for gay males and Svairini for lesbians. Each were devised in two depending upon their behaviors either masculine or feminine.  Gays are the most prominent member of the third sex. While appearing as ordinary males,  their third nature identity is only revealed by there romantic and sexual attraction for persons of the same sex. it was shown that gay men experience the same attraction normally felt by females and lesbians experience the attraction ordinary felt by males. Some also do commonly exhibit cross gender attractions. As stated earlier third sex citizens have their own dhramas in roles in society. Some examples are if two men of the first sex or straight men engage in gay sex out of convince (like prison) its considered wrong because it is against their nature. Also if a man of the third sex marries and sleeps with a woman in order to be perceived as normal and have children. It is adharmic because it is against his nature.
Not a whole lot has changed since the Vedic era. Although most people thing of the third sex as hijra's or transgender. Even some of my friends especially when I told them I was writing about the third sex. Although in modern day more people think of gays differently and have great hatred towards us, and ponder whether we should be about of society.  Some of us stay in the closet and try to live a double life. They get married and try to blend in society. Others come out and deal with taunting or mean words. Or even when they do come out are still forced to get married. I wonder what changed in society some say the colonial period in India with 377 changed the views on how people felt about gays and the third sex. With their views that gays are unnatural it changed a world.
Thank you for reading and have to mention some of my sources http://glbt-hindus.livejournal.com and check out Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex by Amara Das Wilhelm. Tell me how you feel about people of the third sex? What are your views? And would you want to live in a time like this, also what do you think has changed in society about the third sex?
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