Crossposted from the Bideshis Blog.
The words in the article WE and US refer to Sebastian Rist and Aude Leroux, two indviduals who are working on an documentary project on Bangladeshi Transexuals.
We got the news that on Tuesday september 18th, Guru Laila Hijra passed away.
Even though certain Hijra groups tend to clash, everybody could agree that they highly respected and admired Laila Hijra. Being one of the first Hijras in Bangladesh to speak out publicly about their community’s issues, Laila gained notoriety both on a nation and international level. She was one of the founding members and president until her death of ‘Shustha Jibon’; the first (and officially recognized by international ngos) Hijra community center of Bangladesh.
Shustha Jibon is one of the places where we teach our English classes to Hijras. We met Laila Hijra when we tried to convince her and her team to let us come and help out. Quiet and reserved, Laila was very kind and open to our idea, giving us advice but also being very efficient and organized with her decision making.We thank her for accepting us into her community, and we thank her for giving us the opportunity to meet such wonderful people. Without her, our project wouldn’t be where it’s at right now.
I can’t imagine how the members of Shustha Jibon are feeling right now.
Are thoughts are with her friends and her family.