Recently, Yasir Hussain announced he would be playing a transgender role in an Eid telefilm for ARY. While the star was applauded by many for playing such an “out of the box” role, others are appalled by the fact that someone like Yasir is playing this role when the Census of 2017 shows there are more than enough people in the transgender community to play this role – or similar roles that require actual transgender actors.
It’s surprising to see this is the same Pakistan that has employed a member of the transgender community in its government or the same Pakistan that has a transgender news anchor.
The chart above clearly states there at least 10,418 people in Pakistan marked themselves down as transgender in the year 2017, according to the Pakistani Census. 10,418 is most likely not even an accurate number because people of the transgender community are still forced to feel ashamed and below people that identify themselves as male or female.
This is important because representation matters. Has Pakistan had a history of cisgendered actors playing trans roles? Absolutely. Have they been applauded for the same? Definitely. But it’s 2019. We have faces like Kami Sid, taking to stages, owning their craft and bringing trans representation to the limelight. Therefore, when a path is being paved for trans folks, why not facilitate that movement?
Coming to Yasir Hussain – he has remained a problematic figure in the past.
For instance, at the Hum Awards in 2017, he made a joke about child molestation. That’s a line no one should cross, and yet, Yasir Hussain got away with it in broad daylight, with the joke on camera.
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) April 30, 2017
From the insensitive Hum Awards comment to his racist jokes about certain communities, to his inappropriate notions towards guests at almost all of the LSA shows he has been a part of, he has always gotten away with saying some really hurtful and disgusting things.
In line with that, is his recent display of transphobia.
If you’re about to play a transgender character, have some respect for the community. However, as displayed by this exchange on Yasir’s Instagram, when asked about why they don’t hire real transgenders to play the character, Yasir replied to a fan saying, “Matlab aap ko job chahiye?”
Yasir hussain is playing a role of transgender in some drama and this guy asked an important question.
and look at the response of this so called educated celebs, why most of them are shit? pic.twitter.com/LZG8jzLIQE
— Anas Tipu (@teepusahab) April 27, 2019
The comment was a valid question that could have fueled the conversation around the mainstream representation of trans folks, but Yasir went on to make a transphobic comment.
We’re not 12 anymore. Using slurs or believing that an entire gender is synonymous for an insult – we all need to grow from that. Transphobia has existed in our society for the longest time. It’s what pushes the community towards the absolute edges, making their lives miserable. In a country where trans folks are stripped off opportunities and still shot dead in broad daylight when they take up jobs where they are required to dance, are we really going to sit back and let this attitude continue to be normalized?
It’s 2019 people – let’s do the right thing. Let’s actually provide equality for everyone, rather than just talking about it. Let’s implement the change, rather than posting about it. Let’s come together to fight this stigma and stand up for equal opportunity in all areas, while also fighting issues like transphobia that we may experience.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.