Pakistan’s transgender community held a rare party with help from the police
Pakistan’s transgender community successfully held a birthday party for a member in Peshawar under the protection of the police guard.
Authorities usually refuse to protect the parties and often raid and shut them down.
The party signifies a celebration of reaching the middle of your life, unlike the traditional idea of celebrating the day of birth.
“Like you people have weddings, we have a party in which we do the same things,” explained a guest at the do.
The event was dedicated to celebrating 40-year-old Shakeela and marks the middle of their life.
Guests often bring gifts of money to help the person fund a project, business or idea.
“It’s the first time in a decade that we have openly hosted such a function,” said Farzana Jan, a leader of Trans Action Pakistan.
Party-goers believe they were able to pull off the event following government moves to make the country more accepting of trans people.
“I was afraid that I may not be able to experience this occasion, as it took us a lot of time to convince authorities to allow us to host it,” Shakeela said.
“This is the first and last birthday of my life. It is an important, and the happiest, occasion of my life.”
In the last year, there have been a number of trans deaths as the group still face stigmatism.
Alesha, a transgender activist in Pakistan was shot multiple times by a gang member. When admitted to The Lady Reading Hospital, doctors failed to treat her injuries straight away.
The victim, Kashi, was shot in the thigh when three armed men broke into her home, in Mansehra, and attempted to rape her.
However, just last month the country announced that it would include trans identifying folk within the census.
Transgender citizens were granted equal rights in 2012 by the Supreme Court, but that has proved to do very little for the community as continued reports of violence and discrimination are made.