This article analyzes discourses and performance practices in India's hijra and transgender communities through a comparison of badhais (ritualistic acoustic music and dance performed by hijras) and dances from the professional transgender-led troupe known as the Dancing Queens. Differences between the two evince the transformation of regimes and representations of hijra identity from devalorized codes of social difference to respectable, middle-class ones within a transgender narrative of self-understanding and personal empowerment.

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