This is part of our new series, ‘Khaas Log’, that highlights the extraordinary people within our community who are inspiring with even the smallest acts of bravery, kindness and generosity that they spread around them.
Being a minority in this country has never proved easy and Annie, a transgender toy seller in Lahore is an example of that.
Selling toys to earn an honorable living, for the past 3 years, Annie’s is a special story that is inspirational
Annie’s journey began twenty years ago when she first started setting up stalls. She became a cigarette seller, an occupation she had to leave due to the ill treatment of boys who used to harass her. She then became a tailor before taking up her present role as the neighborhood toy seller.
Once a matriculation graduate in science, she first dreamed of going to medical school but realized her dream would have to change when she realized she had too sensitive a heart to be a doctor.
While talking to MangoBaaz about her experience, Annie relates that she was shaken by a victim who had lost his arm in an accident and decided that medicine wasn’t a profession she was cut out for.
Apart from the unfortunate realization, she says she still believes in the importance of education and in books, saying “If a person is well read, at least they can remember God.”
Annie is not unlike other transgenders in Pakistan who are ridiculed and mocked due to their appearance and lifestyle.
This treatment is something she believes to be completely unfair.
“We should strive to do good work, whatever work it may be”, shares Annie, “we are Pakistani citizens and have rights as well.”
Looking back at everything she has been through, she remembers her mother passing away 18 years ago, something that she says still hurts her to this day.
We can learn a lesson or two from Annie and all of the other minorities in Pakistan that are persecuted for nothing more than living their own authentic lives. In this country, we tend to reward the actions of the elite and ignorant as opposed to applauding people like Annie who have the courage and strength to lead their own honest lives. In a country built on the ideals of equality, peace and unity, we must instill these values in our every day lives as well as towards the people around us.
Here’s Annie’s story in her own words:
If you know someone around you with an extraordinarily khaas story, share it with us so we can highlight these ‘Khaas Log’ that live within us.