I am writing to express my views about the unjust denial of basic rights to the ‘third gender’ community in hope to call attention towards their endless parade of trials and ordeals.

You see, we may consider ourselves a prejudice free nation with a deeply rooted sense of respect and duty towards all human rights indebted upon us by Islam. And as a consequence of our religious obligations, we all know there is a large number of socialists fighting inexhaustibly on the side of the weak for decades but have you ever come across any leading NGOs and government institutions trying to turn things around for a largely neglected and under privileged community of Pakistan- the ‘genderless’ anomalies- the transgender folks.

From workplace discrimination, to family issues, to fighting for just treatment, to dealing with insults and violence, to being denied education, jobs, healthcare facilities and identity documents, there is a lot more to the these jolly faces and amusing dancers which is going unnoticed .There are an estimated 500,000 ‘third-gender’ citizens in Pakistan and it was only in 2012, that this community was given a few legal rights. But to their dismay, they are only guaranteed on paper. So just like that, everyday another transgender baby is born and given away cold-heartedly by his parents, raised in a cheap brothel, taught to dance and sing for money. What we all do not understand is that not conforming to our gender labels does not mean that person is somehow stripped off of any talent, skill and the ability to think and work.

What we need to accept is that they are humans at the end of the day, not an inferior breed of animals. They deserve to live a normal life just like us. Or you think they don’t? Because they were born in the wrong world ruled by heartless narcissists? Alas to our justice system then! We know better than that, don’t we?

ISMA SHAFQAT RAJA,

Islamabad, November 19.