India’s transgender troupe 'Dancing Queens' dance for their rights

Indian transgender troupe uses dance to express their feelings and demand their rights


Image Hindustan Times

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – India's "Dancing Queens" dance their way to demand their rights, raise funds, improve social well-being and for empowerment.

"Dancing Queen" is a professional transgender led dance troupe which has performed for more than 14 years with a group of 20-25 members. They perform for charity shows to help raise funds for TWEET Foundation (Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust) along with Humsafar Trust, Mumbai to help increase social awareness and empowerment for transgender people.

The Dancing Queens know a wide range of Indian dance forms such as Tamasha, Koli and Gondhal, which are traditional forms of Marathi theater, widely performed by local or traveling theater groups within the state of Maharastra, India.

Aside from their traditional performances, these dancing queens also have some fun by performing to peppy Bollywood numbers.

The group feels dancing can be used as a form of expression and can be a medium to highlight the struggles of the transgender community in India.

The members look forward to such events as they feel it is their own way of being able to contribute to the society to create awareness and demand for equal rights for their community.

According to India's 2011 census, the nation is home to a large number of transgender persons with nearly 500,000. Despite the presence of such a large community, many in India see transgender as a taboo.

Even after repeated efforts by NGOs, transgender Indians feel change is slow to come. 

In India, the Supreme Court in April 2014 recognized transgender people as a "third gender" in law, also including an option for them on passports and certain official documents.