An announcement by TransAction Alliance Pakistan says that that the Government of Pakistan has issued a Transgender person with a Pakistani passport with a separate category in gender as X.

The announcement on Social Media regarding this latest development has been greatly applauded by the followers of Transgender issues in the country and abroad.

The Pakistani passport has a gender category where the option so far had been either as ‘female’ or ‘male’, with this development another option has been added that is ‘X’ identify the gender of the transgender community as a separate category.

The President of TransAction Alliance, Farzana Jan a Transgender is amongst first ones to carry this “X” transgender identity on her passport.

Speaking to The Nation Farzana said, “I am happy that I have got this passport. She added “it is a coincidence that I was amongst the first ones to receive the NADRA CNIC with my transgender identity as “X” also.”

“This is a good sign at international level, however countries like Saudi Arabia don’t consider our identity nor allow us entry in the country for Umrah or Hajj,” Farzana added.

However some members of the transgender community are not happy about this development as this categorization does not specify if they are trans-female or male.

Co-Founder of Blue Veins Qamar Naseem an organization that works for the rights of transgender Community in NWFP said, “This is a historic moment, for the first time transgender persons are being separated in the Gender category of the Pakistan passport. They will be represented with an ‘X’ and will be allowed to travel without much hassle.”

He also said that there were many people in the trans-community who wanted to be specified as trans-male or female and were not happy with the ‘X’ category, however as per International rules ‘X’ is a representation of this community and is applied in a number of places.

Earlier when NADRA had used ‘X’ in the Gender category, the High Court had asked it to explain the reason; to which they replied that they were following international standards where ‘X’ stands for trans-male, trans-female and intersex persons, and now the Immigrations and Passport department has done the same.

Qamar also hoped that this categorization will help segregate the employees in the other departments also during the documentation related work.

The Transgender community has remained the most neglected class in society in Pakistan. For the past few years civil society and other people have stepped forwards to fight for the rights of the transgender community and step by step things are taking a turn for the better and this addition of the Gender X category is seen by many as the first step towards greater freedom of movement for the transgender community in Pakistan.