Portrayal of Intersex Characters in Indian Cinema

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


Depiction of intersex characters in Indian cinema is blurred with other non-binary identities. This research study produces a historical account that examines the visual representation of people with intersex variations in the last twenty-five years in Indian cinema. It critically evaluates the visual narratives of Indian fiction films, having apparent and ambiguous intersex characters, using a filmmaker and scholar’s perspective, to examine the role and responsibility of this medium in creating awareness and entertainment amongst the audience. It gathers new knowledge on the less visible subject of intersex and their social, psychological and health issues portrayed in Indian films. In conclusion, this paper asserts that mostly the intersex characters portrayed negatively as pimps, dancing beggars, criminals, and forced prostitutes and not been conceived in other genres in Indian films.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTrinity University, US
PublisherThe Southwest Conference on Asian Studies
VolumeVisual Narratives and Gender: A Study of South Asian TV and Films
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2020


  • Intersex characters
  • Indian cinema
  • Dancing beggars
  • visual representation
  • non-binary
  • fiction films

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