The transgender tragedy in Pakistan

On Nov 22, 2016 Daily Times reported: Transgenders are also not encouraged to live in close proximity to housing communities and, hence, are bound to establish their own colonies far away

One of the most vulnerable and marginalised minority communities in Pakistan, transgender people, sometimes narrowly referred to as Khwaja Siras, have had a very different role and status in the society historically. Transgenders enjoy the least amount of respect or rights in Pakistan. Due to the repressive societal mindset, the subject of transgenders’ rights is not discussed in Pakistan. Most people do not even consider them as a part of their community. They are often rejected in almost all parts of Pakistan.

Transgenders and other members of the LGBT community are considered a sign of disgrace in the Pakistani culture. Most of these individuals never get a chance to acquire education in the regular schools due to the discriminatory treatment of fellow citizens. Consequently, most of these individuals have no other option but to make their living by singing and dancing alongside the road or in private parties. Additionally, transgenders are also not encouraged to live in close proximity to housing communities and, hence, are bound to establish their own colonies far away from these societies

There are several other issues faced by transgenders in Pakistan. There is no government aid or support system to help these individuals live a normal life. Government institutions and other governing bodies are widely known to harass these individuals. In the case of any criminal victimisation or even sexual harassment, these individuals expect no help or support from the community or government institutions. There are literally no job opportunities or financial security available to them due to which most members of the transgender community are forced to make their living by prostitution.

There are no records or official figures that can give details about their community. Unofficial sources estimate their number somewhere between 80,000 to 350,000-500,000 and believe that around 60-70,000 transgenders live in Karachi alone.

Read more at Dailytimes | The transgender tragedy in Pakistan

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