Transnational effort of a transgender
LAHORE – Kami appears in a short clip, addressing a group of people to stop them from making fun of transgender.
“Why did you stop?” she asked a boy in a deep and velvety voice, who was making a “clap of mockery” as he looked at her.
Kami Sid snaps back to a man who humiliates her by gesturing a clap in a typical style to insult eunuchs. “Change your mindset; it will change the clap too,” she asks the man humbly.
The clip shows the boy changing the style of clap from disrespect to respect, keeping his hands straight rather than crossing them.
Unlike other transgender, Kami Sid, a trans-model with a masculine name, is a graduate from Karachi, who has been leading the campaign from the US with metadata tag #ChangeTheClap to support transgender all over the world – an idea by Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN).
The Asia Pacific Transgender Network has worked with various NGOs and agencies in Pakistan, India and Nepal and Bangladesh, to hold workshops and create awareness about the problems transgender are facing in this region. It has launched #ChangeTheClap campaign for World Human Rights Day through BBDO (Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn), an American and agency-based organisation in New York.
Kami was chosen by the BBDO to lead the campaign on the social media, at local and international level through the clap that is associated with the transgender.
The transgender clap is distinct horizontal flat palms striking against and perpendicular to each other, with fingers spread as opposed to the common applause-style: Vertical palm & closed fingers strike. Interestingly, transgender are everywhere in the world but the clap associated with them is found only in South Asian region. Therefore, though the campaign is global, it mainly focuses on regional South Asian transgender community.
Gestures are an important part of communication and have a deep impact on our perceptions. They create certain images in human mind. Some gestures like salute are almost universal in their meaning and application. But in many cases a particular gesture could mean different things in different cultures.
In a given culture, a gesture creates a particular image that conveys a certain idea. Replacing a gesture, associated with a certain kind of social situation, with another one can, therefore, change the perception about the situation and give a new meaning to its relevant material and non-material aspects.
At present, Kami is on the US tour where she has been running the campaign through social media as well as through gatherings.
Kami shares her video clip on the website of APTN in which she says, “All are born from the wombs of their mothers and we too.”
Kami says she used to hear the people calling transgender with different names like ‘Zanana’, ‘ladies’ etc which is extremely disrespectful.
“Never ever in any religion of the world nobody was declared superior on the basis of gender,” Kami argues, saying women accept them, but men don’t, which is peak of double standard.
About ChangeTheClap, she says eunuchs clap whenever they feel pain or whenever they need people’s attention then why people make fun of them through clapping. Some transgender feel fear, some don’t explore their identity and don’t dare to talk to the people.
“If life of one can be changed through the change of clapping, then this clapping must be changed,” she adds. “It will change the society,” she concludes.