Visiting Pakistan as a child and going out and about, I would sometimes see transgender people roaming the streets of the bazaars. These people would often be dressed in traditional Pakistani clothing for women and would have heaps of makeup on their faces, begging for money.

Men would yell abuse and use degrading language, most often the horrible term “kusra”, meaning tr*nny, as well as cat-calling these harmless people and making them feel worthless. I remember feeling pity for these people. The harsh reality of what transgender people have to go through in third world countries is not addressed properly and it is about time we put an end to the transphobia.

Transgender Pakistanis, most commonly trans women, are often disowned by their families and cast out of their homes leaving them to find their own ways of income. Many earn their income through begging as well as dancing and sex work. The fact that these women are forced to endure these conditions of work is horrible and needs to be changed. Every person should have an equal chance at pursuing work in any field that they want to, but these women are forced to keep their options limited.

Acts of transphobia against these women are occurring nearly every day, and in a video uploaded by the Facebook page, Pakistan Transgender Community Network, a trans woman talks about her experiences facing transphobia.

This video was uploaded by AJ+ on Twitter and gives a translation of what the woman was saying.

The fact that these women are treated in such degrading and inhumane manners, only because they are trans, is disgusting and needs to be changed. Men in South Asian countries need to start accepting that trans women exist and that they are people. No one should ever have to face such horrific treatment and be afraid to express themselves.

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