The transgender community lacks representation in mainstream media. While that has remained consistent for many years, there are many outlets and individuals that are combating the same.
The most prominent example is Kami Sid.
Not only is she paving her way onto our screens, she’s also making sure she talks about causes that matter alongside.
Zara Changezi is another transgender model and activist who’s rapidly making a name for herself.
While the transgender community struggles to represent itself from within, it’s important to have people facilitating this representation.
Which is why it’s great that Fatima Zia, Meerub Taimur, and Anoushey Khan from Lahore Grammar School organized a photo shoot with the transgender model, Mavia, for their Global Perspectives CIE project, The Flip Side.
The girls were joined by NCA graduate and photographer, Umar Khan (Ukhano). The fashion brand JEEM provided the outfits that Mavia was seen in.
The girls also expressed their need to conduct the project in a write-up:
“We initiated it for our Global Perspectives final CIE project but it ended up becoming something none of us had foreseen: a reality check. We interviewed all kinds of people for our project; businessmen, housewives and children and surprisingly, most of them did not even know what the term ‘transgender’ meant. The more understood word amongst the public was the derogatory term ‘khusra’. Through The Flip Side, we decided to do something about the misconstrued perception of the transgender community.”
The three also went on to talk about why they believed this photo shoot would help.
“We believe that this photo shoot in itself can remove the stigma associated with the transgender community and promote acceptance. Our main goal is to spread awareness about the discrimination the transgender community faces in Pakistan. A society that is inclusive and celebrates differences rather than looking down upon them is a society that has the potential to be progressive. Acceptance and inclusivity is the whole ideology behind The Flip Side.”
They also emphasized on the importance of such initiatives:
“The antagonizing lifestyle led by the majority of the transgender community in Pakistan is painfully hidden in plain sight. However, the bravery shown by those making the decision to stand up for their rights is commendable. It is high time we learn of that which has gone unnoticed for far too long; that which will shake our understanding of society, which we acknowledge exists but refuse to think about. This lies outside our suffocating and protective bubble and is the opposite of what we believe.”
Undoubtedly, this is a great initiative. Here’s hoping we see more of the same. What is your take on this? Let us know in the comments.
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Cover image: Umar Khan (Ukhano)