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India' Third Gender
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
19 Jun 2017

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 03
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
08 Jun 2015

Alejandro Antonio González, 22, from Guatemala, attends a session with his psychologist, provided by the local NGO Exil in Barcelona, Spain.
Alejandro arrived in Barcelona in September 2013, after being bullied for his homosexual condition for many years back home: his father repudiated him, police used to harass him and his friends in public areas and he was even once kidnapped and raped by two unknown men. He is happy to be now in Barcelona where he attends a psychologist who helps him feel free to express his sexuality. He actively participates in sexual education campaigns for the gay community and he would like to become a nurse in the future.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 48
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
08 Jun 2015

Alejandro Antonio González (right), 22, from Guatemala, has a drink with one of his best friends in Barcelona, Spain.
Alejandro arrived in Barcelona in September 2013, after being bullied for his homosexual condition for many years back home: his father repudiated him, police used to harass him and his friends in public areas and he was even once kidnapped and raped by two unknown men. He is happy to be now in Barcelona where he attends a psychologist who helps him to feel free to express his sexuality, he actively participates in sexual education campaigns for the gay community and he would like to become a nurse in the future.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 02
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
08 Jun 2015

Alejandro Antonio González (center), 22, from Guatemala, walks in Barcelona city center, Spain, with two of his best friends.
Alejandro arrived in Barcelona in September 2013, after being bullied for his homosexual condition for many years back home: his father repudiated him, police used to harass him and his friends in public areas and he was even once kidnapped and raped by two unknown men. He is happy to be now in Barcelona where he attends a psychologist who helps him feel free to express his sexuality, he actively participates in sexual education campaigns for the gay community and he would like to become a nurse in the future.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender01
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender02
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender03
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender04
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender05
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender06
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender07
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender08
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender09
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender10
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender11
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender12
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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MiguelCandela_The3rdGender13
New Delhi
By Miguel Candela
24 Jan 2014

Known to provide good luck in religious ceremonies, the 'hijra' -term known in India to men who are castrated but who do not complete the sex change process- transvestites and transgenders also face the inflexibility of a society that condemns them and suffer police abuse, begging and prostitution, often under the control of mafias. They belong to the social group most discriminated in India. A primary reason of the exclusion is the lack of legal recognition of the gender status of the Hijras and other transgender people. It is the major obstacle that often prevent them in exercising their rights. Society denies them of employment which leads them to prostitution and begging. The blessing of a 'hijra' is considered necessary for newborns and newlyweds to succeed. These services are paid well but not as much as sex. Hence, most of them prefer to sell their bodies on the streets. The 'hijras' prostitutes suffer a high prevalence of HIV and syphilis. They are a weak and easy target unbacked by society.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 5
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
27 Jul 2013

The LGBT communities in Myanmar are starting to organize themselves by planning an incipient movement to reclaim their rights. Harry, dressed in a male longyi (traditional Burmese dress) is attending an event organized by the LGBT community in Mandalay. Since she was a child, “Harry” has always “felt ridiculous” dressing as a girl and feels “free dressing as a boy." Now she is 17 years old and studies Mathematics at the University of Mandalay.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 7
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
26 Jul 2013

Harry poses in front of a Buddha shrine in her room at her parents' house. Sometimes the people insult her because of her boyish appearance. “People who don’t know me think I am a boy,” she adds smiling mischievously. Her father, a cab driver, does not accept her homosexuality. However, her mother and grandmother accept it only reluctantly.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 6
Mandalay,Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
26 Jul 2013

Harry in a popular snack bar in Mandaly with her friends. She believes that lesbians are slightly less discriminated against in Burma because many people believe that “tomboys” will be men, regarded as superior to women in their next reincarnation. After the bitter and recent end of her first relationship with another girl, she maintains her dream of founding a family with another woman.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 8
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
26 Jul 2013

Harry loves to play football, a sport restricted to men in Burma.

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LGBT Myanmar 3
Mandaly, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
25 Jul 2013

Alex with his boyfriend in a hospital room in Mandalay. Alex, the youngest among three siblings, struggled after discovering being homosexual at the age of 12.

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LGBT Myanmar 2
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
24 Jul 2013

Alex is having fun in a popular fast food place among young people in Mandalay.
“Alex” thinks that it will take time to change the mentality of Burmese society towards LGBT people, and that it is likely that they won’t stop to discriminate them “until the next generation”, but he would like to lead this change as a champion of LGBT rights and leader of the gay community.

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LGBT Myanmar 4
Mandalay,Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
24 Jul 2013

Hein Htwe Maung, “Alex”, is a 17 year old homosexual boy from a middle class family in Mandalay. He is currently studying Business Management at the Chindwin College. Alex is waiting with his friends for his boyfriend's blood test.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 18
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
24 Jul 2013

Ma Pwint with her friends at an event organized by the LGBT organization in Mandalay. He lives now with his conservative parents. They cannot accept his homosexuality. He is one of the known faces in the local gay scene and dances often in Nat festivals across the country.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 14
Yangon,myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
22 Jul 2013

Zin Min Htun, whose picture is shown, is a 32 year old make-up artist from Mandalay. She prefers to be called Ma Pwint, using the feminine prefix Ma.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 15
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
22 Jul 2013

Ma Pwint in his small room at his parents home in Mandalay. He does not see himself neither as a woman nor as transgender, but likes to dress as a woman.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 16
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
22 Jul 2013

Ma Pwint dressed up as a woman during a festival. The festival devoted to the nats, spirits worships where men often impersonate female nats.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 19
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
21 Jul 2013

TJ poses behind an aquarium at a local restaurant in Mandalay. “TJ” is a 19 year old boy who left his home village in Magwe Division two years ago to study English in the city of Mandalay.

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 20
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
21 Jul 2013

TJ walks in Mandalay downtown streets. He discovered his sexuality three years ago, before that he had a relationships with a girl from his village. “It didn't’t work, relationships with women are too complicated.”

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 21
Mandalay,Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
21 Jul 2013

TJ at a famous Mandalay mall where he loves to go shopping. His friends know his sexual orientation and support him, but he didn't confess to his family yet. “I know my parents will understand me when they find out because they love me so much,” he says with his soft voice, “but I will wait until they ask me to tell them.”

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LGBT Myanmar 1
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
18 Jul 2013

Alex in a relaxing moment in his room on the first floor of his parents' grocery shop. He did not accept himself completely until he met his current boyfriend in a boarding high school two years ago. Last year and after attending a workshop organized by an NGO in Mynamar, Alex decided to make his homosexuality public which made him feel empowered and proud of his identity. The LGBT communities in Myanmar are organizing themselves and there is now an incipient movement to reclaim their rights.

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The LGBT Community in Myanmar
Yangon, Mandalay Burma
By vincenzo floramo
16 Jul 2013

Photojournalist Vincenzo Floramo worked on a feature about the Burmese LGBT scene with Carlos Sardina Galache, a journalist specialized in Southeast Asia. Carlos made several interviews with members of this community, including gay men, transsexuals and lesbians. In those interviews, they spoke openly of their experiences as LGBT people living in a highly conservative country where homosexuality is considered abnormal and illegal.

Carlos and I followed some of the characters of our story, which gave us the chance to understand better their daily lives and take intimate portraits of them. With this material we are able to offer a complete portrait, with Carlos’ text and my pictures, of the life of LGBT people in Burma with all its challenges and hardships.

Also available upon request, Carlos has a detailed interview with a gay man who was detained by the police in Mandalay, humiliated and tortured, as well as an interview with Aung Myo Min, the founder of Equality Myanmar, an advocacy group strongly focused on the rights of the LGBT community.

Short profiles of those photographed can be viewed here: http://transterramedia.com/media/25883#

Photos by Vincenzo Floramo
Text by Carlos Sardina Galache

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LGBT Community in Myanmar 22
Mandalay, Myanmar
By vincenzo floramo
21 May 2013

When “TJ” feels the need to vent he goes to Mandalay Hill, a complex of Buddhist temples in a hill overseeing the city, and shouts to the wind “Chit Tal! Chit Tal!” (“I love you” in Burmese) to his “virtual” boyfriend.

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Gay Rights Rally In Russia 2
St. Petersburg, Russia
By Yury Goldenshtein
18 May 2013

Vitaliy Milonov and anti-gay activists shouting slogans during gay right rally in St. Petersburg.

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Gay Rights Rally In Russia 6
St Petersburg, Russia
By Yury Goldenshtein
18 May 2013

Gay rights activists rallied to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia in St. Petersburg.

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Gay Rights Rally In Russia 5
St. Petersburg, Russia
By Yury Goldenshtein
18 May 2013

Some of several dozens of gay rights activists shouting slogans and hold posters during their rally in St. Petersburg.

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Gay Rights Rally In Russia 1
St. Petersburg, Russia
By Yury Goldenshtein
18 May 2013

Vitaliy Milonov and anti-gay activists shouting slogans during gay right rally in St. Petersburg.