The Aijaz Qureshi Show
Live with Kami Sid – Pakistan First Trans Model
Topic: Change the Mindset
Kami Sid says We need to change our situation for the better, and activists are those who are responsible to bring that change. But having a narrow local focus, we sometimes lack insights that only International cooperation can give us. Insight necessary to effect change. One of our main issues in Pakistan is the social acceptance of trans people; trans-phobia and harassment are everyday problems for us. We need to teach society that we do not only exist for sex and entertainment but are a part of society and deserve respect as human beings. We to educate others that they are living in the same community as others are, being trans is a normal and natural thing, we are not aliens, we have the same needs as others. Some direct tangible effects of social marginalization in our community are a lack of education, no job opportunities. To improve these effects we need to educate both the mainstream and trans people themselves but also need to approach authorities more self consciously. We trans activists have already made some progress in Pakistan. Rights have been granted and guaranteed by authorities. But often these rights only exist on paper and we need to turn them into a social reality.
Being a social activist, I am known for working for Pakistan’s transgender community. Doing that, I sometimes combine classical activism with my media presence. I made my debut in the fashion world and we launched a powerful photoshoot drawing public attention to issues of transphobia. This was published widely in Pakistani and international media and I feel that this has opened doors for other transgender women, both in the fashion society and in the larger society. As mentioned, I have also used my participation in several documentary projects (Chuppan Chupai, but also the BBC 3 documentary) to raise global awareness of trans and gender issues in Pakistan.
Apart from these kinds of creative projects, I am also working with our political policy-making team on government level that is developing inclusive rights for the transgender community in our National Assembly and Provincial Assembly. Since 2015 I have been engaged with different public and private forums (partly mentioned above) to promote and sensitize mainstream society on transgender issues and the hurdles that the trans community faces within my country.
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