Re: Transgender and henna, living transgender

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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 21, 2002 at 16:09:05:

In reply to: Re: Transgender and henna, gendering the third gender posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 21, 2002 at 16:07:36:

Some Xanith eventually get married (to a woman), particularly if they
need some housekeeping done, or want taken care of in their old age.
(They usually arrange a marriage from a distance so the girl?s family
won?t find out the groom is Xanith). Though society requires that
everyone believe that Xanith CANNOT possibly have sex with women, the
Xanith themselves beg to differ.

A Xanith?s family is NOT thrilled to find their son hasn?t grown up to
be a MANLY man. They keep hoping it?s just a phase he?ll grow out of.
Xanith are on the margins of society, and they?re vulnerable to all
sorts of hassling and nastiness, but they do occupy a recognized and
functional role in society. They keep men happy as talented
entertainers, sexual partners, and buddies. They keep women happy, as
friends, entertainers and confidants. They?re a safety valve in
several ways for the tensions created by strict separation of sexes
and maintenance of honor.

A Xanith may certainly be a man?s closest friend for life. Marriages
are arranged. The wife may be someone a man puts children into and
who cleans up the dishes and not much else. She may be incompatible
with her husband, and just be there as a part of the web of economic
and loyalties that are Middle Eastern families. Companionship,
caring, loving may come from the man?s closest male friend. The wife
might not cry for him when he dies, she many not really give a damn.
His male beloved will be heartbroken, and as Xanith, can be permitted
to weep, wail, tear his clothes ? as is shown in a Persian medieval


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