One of the biggest problems plaguing Pakistani society is the lack of acceptance for the transgender community. There have been strides with regards to integrating the community in the mainstream but by and large, there is much to be desired for the improvement of relations of transgender community of Pakistan with the rest of the population.
Transgender women in Bannu (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) are the new target
The Bannu administration have asked transgender women to keep beards
This is an unreasonable demand which completely neglects their gender identity. It reflects how the administration lacks the understanding and the basic human decency to deal with them. Their own country and their own people treat them like outcastes. And they have no one standing up for them or their rights.
Their religious beliefs are also regularly questioned because of their gender identity. The authorities do not realize that they are trespassing on private matters which should only concern the individual. Religion is a very private matter and no one gets to be the judge of anyone’s religiosity.
Dance is one of the few ways they’re able to sustain a living but it’s seen as an activity forbidden by religion which is why the administration constantly shames them
The transgender women raise a very valid point in return. They are not accepted by their families, neither are they accepted by the society. This means that they cannot get “decent” jobs, as the society would like to call them. Hence, they are forced into the profession because it is the only way to earn a living.
Here is a video of transgender women from Bannu explaining their situation:
District Adminstration Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has asked transgender women to grow beared and dress like man and live like good muslims. We will suggest to the KP police to stop moral polising and concentrate on thier jobs which is protection of citizens. #TransLivesMatters
Posted by Trans Action Pakistan on Mittwoch, 31. Januar 2018
This incident highlights how deeply the problem is rooted in the Pakistani society
Despite the legislations to make the society more inclusive, the regressive thinking still holds us back. If the authorities are indulging in such a behavior then how we expect the people to change their thinking about the transgender community and treat them fairly.
It only raises the question that whether or not the prompt legislations have any affect on the things on ground because this case proves that the mentality remains the same.
Cover image via: Trans Action Pakistan / Facebook