Paro Ki Kahani: Transgender Dancers in Pakistan face Torture, Rape and Death Threat

In 2012, Pakistan's Supreme Court declared equal rights for transgender citizens, including the right to inherit property and assets

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Transgender Paro dancing in home. Radio Free Asia

October 5, 2016: “Transgenders”, a term used to describe a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marks in the birth certificate. Gender identity is a person’s internal and personal sense of being a man or women. Transgender are now one of the members of our community but the transgenders are still struggling to live in this world. People are still not ready to accept them as the “third”.

However, from outside it might seem that the society has accepted people belonging to Transgender community but data shows that still they come across so much discrimination and biases in public spaces. People are still not ready to accept them as the “third gender,” unlike males and females.

Out of all countries, Transgenders in Pakistan have faced and are facing worst of the problems. They are treated mercilessly, tortured, raped and killed at times.

One such story is of transgender Paro, a professional dancer at Peshawar, Pakistan, who has to abandon her profession because she was threatened with death if she continues to dance. ” When we used to perform at weddings, we were insulted. I used to make clothes for myself before now I have made this my profession and make clothes for my friends and families,” says Paro.

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Reports in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province say many transgenders have been battered, raped and even murdered. Qamar Nasim, a transgender activist, says “46 transgenders have been killed in the past two years and around 300 cases of violence have been reported.”

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In 2012, Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared equal rights for transgender citizens, including the right to inherit property and assets. They were also given the right to vote the year before. Yet in spite of all the rights being given to them their life passes by with the fear of getting killed.

Transgenders performing on roads to collect money. Source: Wikimedia
Transgenders performing on roads to collect money. Source: Wikimedia

“I want to dance again but only in private. I will perform dances only for those who will value it as an art form. I will devote my dance only to those to value and respect me,” says Paro. The government of Pakistan has promised $2 million to improve the conditions of the transgender community.

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Donating money and giving them rights won’t help, the views of the people need to change, change in huge amount- so that even they do not feel discriminated and mere creatures compared to other genders in the society.

– by Enakshi Roy Chowdhury of Newsgram. Twitter: @enakshirc58

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