Jogappa: Gender, Identity and the Politics of Exclusion

Jogappa: Gender, Identity and the Politics of Exclusion

10 August 2015 by Aneka
Aneka, Bangalore
Place of Publication: Bangalore
Date of Publication: October 2014
Number of Pages: 132
License: All rights reserved.
Language of Publication: English

The Jogappas are one of the least known transgender communities in South India. They are “caught”, possessed, by the goddess Yellamma: as such, they are regarded as holy women, and their gender identity and expression reflects this. Jogappas occupy a respected, priestly position within society: people seek their blessings, and appease Yellamma through them. They are a directly link between society and the divine. However, owing to their identity and gender expression, they also transgress the binary norms of gender and sexuality held sacrosanct by societies everywhere in India. They face the paradox of being seen as “powerful and holy” as well as “strange and deviant”. Further, governmental oversight has left them in a vulnerable position.

HBS’ partner Aneka conducted a year-long research into the Jogappa community focusing on their identity, their relationship with family and society, their tradition, and concerns around livelihood, education, and health, among other subjects. Findings show that right from the onset of their lives, Jogappas face deep opposition and discrimination in many crucial aspects of their lives. With insecure housing and livelihood opportunities, Jogappas live very much in the now: that is, owing to everyday trials, there is little thought they can spare towards how they can approach the future. They have also been subjected to neglect on governmental and social forums, and do not have access to many entitlements they are due. With this book, we aim to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of this community in scholarship, as well as provide recommendations intended to influence policy and decision making with respect to the community in relevant government departments. We also hope to provide direction for those who are interested in conducting further research into this small and vibrant community.



I'm Renuka Sannake First Year Mass Media student from KC College Mumbai. i'm currently doing a study on the Jogappa/Jogtin community for my Sociology project as we are supposed to shoot a documentary on this subculture. It would be great if you could get in touch with me and share more information or pictures and help me in this study. The number of Jogappa is very less in Mumbai also ways of reaching them is too less. will be great if you could help.

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