Protest In Pakistan Over Murder, Mutilation Of Transgender Person

Transgender activists staged a passionate protest in the Pakistani city of Peshawar to condemn the murder and mutilation of a transgender woman. The Transgender community in Pakistan has suffered a lot and continues to suffer every day at the hands of the trans-phobia, and societies behavior towards the transgenderism.

Imagine being disowned by your family, by relatives, friends and society, just for being born different. People don’t choose who they are born, or where they a born, it’s not up to us, then why do we give a cold shoulder to people who don’t match the sketched up concept of genderism.

The August 20 demonstration came four days after a woman identified in local media as Nazo was reportedly shot dead at a wedding. Police said her body was later hacked to pieces. Two arrests have been made in the case. TransAction Pakistan, an activist group supporting the rights of transgender persons, said it was the 62nd killing of a transgender person in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province since 2015.

TransAction Alliance is working to reclaim spaces for transgender community and end trans-phobia in the conservative and radicalized society of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA and is working to break barriers for Transgender in conservative Pakistan, where Transgender community is punished by prison or killed in the name of culture, tribal values and religion. Trans Action is providing space to trans community to share ideas, opinions and problems, its long-term goal is to change attitudes towards sexuality stereotypes and trans-phobia in Pakistan and has started its efforts with the hopes that transgender members using TransAction will find the confidence to stand up for their rights. TransAction is an Alliance of transgender and not an NGO and is working on self-help basis receiving no financial support locally or internationally.

Interview with TransAction Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Q: So, when was this organization founded?

TransAction Alliance is not an NGO. We are an alliance of several transgender groups from KP and FATA. Blue Veins is our mother organizations and we are supported by Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network and FATA Commission of Human Rights Morally and technically.

Q: What are the aims and goals of Trans Action Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?

The mission of TransAction to make Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA a safe and tolerant place for the trans and gender non-conforming individual through education and social advocacy for the empowerment of all trans and gender non-conforming people in every aspect of society and actively oppose discriminatory acts.  Our mission is to Promote awareness, visibility, and cultural and legal acceptance of people with alternative sexual orientations and gender identities.

Our moto is: Liberty, Equality and identity

TransAction aims  to break the silence and stop the ignorance surrounding the existence of the transgender and intersex community in in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA)  and bring knowledge of applicable terminologies and a better understanding of the lives of transgender people and inter-sexuality, while respecting, increasing, and acknowledging indigenous knowledge of transgender and intersex identity, in order to reduce discrimination and intolerance of transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex individuals in Pakistan.

Q: What are the major hindrances you face in the implementation of these aims?

  • Lack of resources.
  • Less/No legal Recognition.
  • Trans-phobia.
  • Gender Blind Policing and Judiciary.
  • No support Structure.
  • Sexual Crimes.
  • Less Capacity and support.

Q: How do new members approach you, or do you approach them?

We have Facebook page through which large number of Transgender community reach us and Discus their issues and stay connected. Other than that in all district we have district coordinators.

Q: It must be hard to be facing such discrimination in our society, how do you cope with the emotional turmoil?

We are resist and head strong or pretend to do this, we have very less choices. We just have to live with it.

Q: Are there any notable people aside from Trans Action Khyber Pakhtunkhwa members supporting the cause?

  • Qamar Naseem (A very well know Activist from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
  • Taimur Kmal (Coordinator Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network)
  • Zar Ali (Chairman FATA commission of Human Rights)
  • Noor Zaman Khattak (Director Human Rights)
  • Several Journalists

Q: What are some of the day to day issues that you face?

  • Health.
  • Rights.
  • Education.
  • Protection.
  • Fundamental Rights.
  • Livelihood.

Q: It seems that members of Trans Action are like a family, is that true?

Yes, they are. All Transgender are family. Because our families usually don’t own us, we live like families

Q: What is the age of the youngest family member does Trans Action have?

Cant not Answer this one, usually they come to us age ranging from 10-15

Q: What are common daily activities of Trans Action members?

For our livelihood we depend on dancing and entertainment while other than that our work is spend in activism and advocacy around transgender issues.

Q: It looks like things are improving for your community, what improvements do you see in the next couple years?

  • Reduction in Trans-phobia.
  • Less hate crimes.
  • More legal recognition.
  • Support from Government and Civil Society.
  • Improvement in Livelihood Opportunities.
  • Access to Basic Services.

Q: Do you have a message you would like to share with the public and the audience on Insaan?

Transgender people are not less humans and not less Pakistanis. Society and Government both have to understand. We are not children of the lesser got. We don’t choose to who we are. Respect people beyond their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

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