It was a shocking moment for the entire world when a member of the transgender community of Pakistan by the name of Alesha was not only shot six to eight times in a crime of hate, but received prolonged treatment as doctors argued over which gender ward to treat her in. By the time they had made a decision to treat her right in front of the lavatory, she had passed away. Not only was this a display of intolerance over a natural phenomenon over which one has no control over but was a display of moral ineptitude on part of the doctors to prolong treatment and prioritise their discomfort over the life of an innocent individual. It is a shame that such intense discrimination still forces them to remain under the glass ceiling and not prosper.

The few initiatives taken by the government of Pakistan are welcomed. Recently, the Lahore High Court assured that the transgender community will be involved in the population consensus being held in March of this year. The first transgender model of Pakistan, Kami Sid, made her debut in 2016 with stunning photos aimed at breaking stereotypes. Certain clerics in Lahore passed a fatwa according to which abusing any transgender was to be considered a crime and that they were allowed to marry others of the opposite sex even under the rule of Islam. Though not legally binding, such an important recognition is to be celebrated as it brings the issue into the focus of the thousands of ignorant people living in Pakistan who either refuse to acknowledge the problem or deny their existence.

 

“Nature chooses who will be transgender; individuals don’t choose this.”

–Mercedes Ruehl