Are We Children Of A Lesser God?
A group of people in Pakistani society has been isolated for many years. They are not given rights to survive in society and looked upon with a different, discriminatory gaze – despite the fact they are born in the same country.
When they grow up, they are criticized and ridiculed by society, thus forced to isolate themselves.
I am, indeed, talking about Transgenders. This is an issue which exists in society and yet is rarely observed or talked about: the fate of not just tens or hundreds but thousands of people. When not given equal respect in society, they are forced to isolate themselves. And so, one of the most victimized minorities of this society are the transgender community, deemed to be misfits.
Normally, the ‘respect’ that they gain from Pakistani society is that they are invited to weddings as a means for entertainment. Or they might be seen outside streets: all dressed up, begging.
My question is: why? Why they aren’t treated like normal people? Why, being part of the same piece of land, are they still so left out? Why does everyone stare at them when they pass by? Why are they not allowed to shop, dine in the same restaurant, study in the same schools, talk or be friends with the rest of the population, or have equal rights as Pakistani citizens?
The root of all these problems is the misunderstanding and the gap between genders which no Pakistani media channels, TV dramas or social media highlights. And an issue which is not addressed or highlighted today will pass down from generation to generation.
We are now hearing much about harassment cases where the mistreatment is directed towards women and young girls. Rightly, they are now getting laws and some level of support to stand up for their rights in Pakistan. What if the same issue is happening with the Transgender community? Will the government of Pakistan offer them the same platform to highlight their issues or come to court etc.?
One needs not go very far for examples of brutal mistreatment of the transgender community. A miserable episode took place just a few days ago in Sialkot. Jajja Butt along with his gang members brutally tortured members of the transgender community in Sialkot. Julie, along with many others, was gang-raped and they were forced to drink urine.
She says in a video on Facebook:
“We were beaten up and gang-raped all night. They hit us with shoes, spat on our faces and made us drink their urine.”
She added that the torture continued for an entire night.
“Are we worse than dogs? Or are we the children of a lesser God?” asked Julie while sobbing.
Julie claims that people like Jajja Butt are present in all parts of Pakistan who enjoy torturing Transgenders. She claims that a similar incident happened in Faisalabad with her, where her hair was cut short just to humiliate her.
“This country has laws for everyone, even animals, but not for us. Are we children of a lesser God? Would it make a difference if a transgender was born in a politician’s house?”
Julie called on political forces especially Shehbaz Sharif to stand up for the rights of the transgender community, many of whom had supported the PML-N staunchly.
Will transgender people ever get their rights? Will they ever claim themselves as proud Pakistanis? Will this discrimination and harassment against them ever end? It is a moment to pause and think for all Pakistanis.