Islamia Queerist, Buraq, and Museum of Impossible Forms are delighted to present a talk by Leyla Jagiella on Friday May 6th, starting at 18:00.
Leyla Jagiella will read from her book Among the Eunuchs: A Muslim Transgender Journey and talk about her experiences being Muslim and being trans. Struggling to negotiate these identities in her conservative, small hometown, she travelled to India and Pakistan, where her life was changed by her time among third-gender communities.
Known as hijras in India, khwajasaras in Pakistan, these marginal communities have traditionally been politically and culturally important, respected for their supernatural powers to bless or curse, and often serving as eunuchs in Mughal India’s palaces. But under British colonialism, the hijras were criminalised and persecuted, entrenching taboos they still battle today.
Among the Eunuchs reveals vastly varied interpretations of religion, gender and sexuality, illuminating how deeply culture informs our experiences. As identity becomes an ideological battlefield, Jagiella complicates binaries and dogma with her rich personal reflections. Her fascinating journey speaks to all who find themselves juggling different kinds of belonging.
The book reading will be given in English. For further information or if you have any questions please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are warmly welcome!
About the Author
Leyla Jagiella is a cultural anthropologist and scholar of religion, working on orthodoxy and heterodoxy in Islam and gender and sexuality in Muslim societies. As a Muslim trans woman, she has also been a community activist for several decades and works as a social worker with LGBTQI refugees in Germany.