The Third Color in Indra’s Bow


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships




People of the LGBTQ community in India are isolated, ridiculed, and often blamed for corrupting India with reprehensible Western influences. In actuality, homosexual, transsexual, and transgender identities have been a part of mainstream Indian society from its inception, and this is clearly evidenced in ancient Hindu texts, which portray the third gender as integral to cosmic balance. The research in this book examines the inclusion of people of the third gender in ancient literatures and their gradual exclusion through ostracizing interpretations and interpolations. Thus, through the lens of the living legacy of Hindu mythology, a humanist inquiry comes to light, which shifts the narrative about how LGBTQ people are perceived in Indian traditions.