In a society like ours where gender discrimination is still at large, the transgender community also gets a very raw deal. They have been treated poorly, shunned, deprived of decent means for making ends meet and, above all, they still have to struggle for basic human rights.
However, things have started looking up. The third gender has been striving for recognition and their efforts have paid off. Transgender models and newscasters have made their mark in Pakistan’s media industry. In 2017, the first passport was allotted to a transgender person with the category X to accommodate previously unclassified citizens. Moreover, schools that cater specifically to the transgender community have opened in Lahore and Okara.
But this is just the beginning, there is still a long way to go.
This tremendous wave of awareness has altered mindsets regarding the perception of the trans-community. Stereotypes are being challenged. But there are still trans persons out there who have not acquired the apt employment. Their identity is still dubious. And the work environment provided to them is questionable.
‘Pehchan‘ was an open theater play organised by the Khawaja Sira Society to highlight all these gruesome issues faced by the transgender community. The play was a part of the campaign called ‘Edutainment‘ (Educate Mainstream Society Through Entertainment).
From family life to the work environment, it beautifully communicated the suffering endured by the trans community while job hunting and constructing their life.
Here are a few highlights
The concept was an instant success. The cast was met with a standing ovation and people were already approaching members of the transgender community for employment opportunities by the end of it. The play was written by Tehseen Azhar Community Counselor Phsycologist with the help of Anaya Sheikh.