The lack of acceptance in Pakistani society for transgenders is unbearable. It’s almost as if 70 years have gone by without recognizing that they are a part of the society. A significant part which everyone ignores very conveniently. It has become one of those matters where we do not bring up terms like morality, human rights, or just plain decency.
Of course, there have been some big strides recently to integrated transgenders in Pakistan into mainstream society
Farzana Jan ,president of trans action alliance has become 1st transgendered person who's passport has a trans identity via trans action Pak pic.twitter.com/ndfUUqgVNW
— meena gabeena (@gabeeno) June 23, 2017
But this is not enough when people, collectively as a society, choose to ignore a particular group of people
Many don’t realize the impact it has on the lives of the marginalized, in this case, the transgender community of Pakistan. A population of 193.2 million lives oblivious of their presence and makes them feel like an outcast.
An incident of sheer ignorance happened right in the capital of the country. And this was not just any random street corner, it was in one of the most highly regarded hotels of Islamabad.
A Facebook user, Uzma Yaqoob, took to Facebook to call out authorities who forget that each person deserves to be respected as a human being. Uzma and her friend (Julie Khan) were supposed to attend a meeting at Serena Hotel Islamabad.
Since they were both coming from different locations, Uzma could not join Julie at the gate. The policemen at the gate refused to allow Julie in, despite her telling them that she was there to attend a meeting. They just would not let the taxi go in.
“What are you doing here? Khusray are not allowed in Serena. This is red zone. Khusray now even go to Serena? What is inside your clothes? Are you male of female?”, Julie was asked.
Julie then waited for Uzma to get there and confirm that she was actually going inside for a meeting. Uzma was told the exact same thing about Julie not being allowed to go inside. She was offered to go inside alone and leave Julie behind.
It was not until their car had taken several U-turns back to the place and Uzma got in touch with the SHO of the area that they let them in.
Their problems did not end there. When they finally were inside the hotel, they were stopped again near the scanners. While Julie went through the scanner, the security had the nerves to question her presence based on her appearance.
It is so disappointing that people do not know where to draw limits
Especially if transgenders, or other people from minority communities, are involved. They feel entitled to disrespect them and question their dignity.
Here’s the entire story in Uzma’s own words:
Dear All I Need Your Attention Please! Yesterday me and Julie Khan went for a meeting to Serena Hotels Islamabad for a…
You be the judge of where we stand as a society and as human beings.
Cover image via: bt.com