Theme: The Way I See It
A WOMAN WITHIN
Ever been thankful for genetically belonging to a particular sex?
If truth be told, I, for one, have always taken my womanhood for granted.
Imagine yourself a typical female, fond of all sorts of feminine engagements like henna and bangles. Now assume waking up one morning and finding yourself trapped inside a man’s body, while being a full-fledged woman at heart. You cannot wear all those beautiful dresses you took so long buying, nor can you let your hair grow any longer (in fact, get rid of those long locks!), your beloved make up would just sit there at your dressing and stare mournfully at you. But worse of all, however much you want to have those bangles dangling down your wrists again, you cannot. Your feminine soul would be trapped inside a shaggy body and you would no longer be treated like a female among your friends. In fact, you would now have to try to act like a man to integrate yourself with them.
Every time you would cast a look at yourself in the mirror, every time you would get dressed, every time you would meet someone; who you realize yourself to be and who you appear to be would be in stark contrast. Stress will build as you pretend to be someone you know you are not.
Welcome to the life of a transgender.
Now imagine yourself a transgender in Pakistan and the tension suddenly gets hiked. You know you are doomed, because the men are going to throw leery looks at you and the women would not want you to mingle with them, because hey, you are still sporting a man’s body.
Let it sink for a while. Feel that sensation of disarrayed confusion, the feeling of not belonging, however much you try at it.
Shehzadi had always been attracted towards pigtails and frilly frocks. It was not until she turned twelve did she realize that she was apparently a male, expected to scrunch his nose at girly things. One day, when her parents were visiting a relative’s place, she took out Rafeea’s phulkari kurta and tried it on.
A slight coat of lipstick would not hurt, she thought.
Just as she was flaunting her exquisite outfit and beautifully made up face before the mirror, her fuming brother walked in and pummeled her with his entire force. Tears streamed down her face but she did not utter a word.
That night, she ran away from her house.
Only to never return.
Research has it that every one out of fifty children in Pakistan is identified with a transgender potential. For many of them, the problem occurs as a consequence of hormonal imbalances in the developing fetus, which results in a brain developing outside the norm of the physical sex. The incongruity never fades and it can never be “cured” to coincide how the brain perceives your body to be with how it looks like from the outside.
Unfortunately, in a country like Pakistan, where people perceive everything from your complexion to your kismet to be self-made, transgenderism, is a situation which is often believed to be self-inflicted too and hence highly condemned and hated upon. Strict warnings are given to the person to ‘correct’ his ways or else is shunned not solely by his family but by the entire society.
Now this is where our treachery comes in.
We would rather have a transgender dancing at our private gatherings than give him a proper job to make a respectable living.
We would rather throw lustful glances towards them in streets than accept at our own transgender son.
We disregard them as the downtrodden individuals of our society, only fit for singing and dancing or making jokes of. How often have we seen people in shows impersonating them to make others laugh?
It is about time we let go of this stigma.
We need to breakdown the mainstream and socially-instilled gender roles that are so deeply embedded in public spheres. Declassifying them would allow us to be more acceptable towards our transgender fellows.
Besides, who are we to judge? Have we, as ‘perfectly normal human beings’, ever felt comfortable in our own skin? If the answer to that is a yes, then I am certain you are lying. And that definitely gives you no right to think them any less than you. They are born that way and so should be allowed to live like that, without us making things hard for them. Because each day is a struggle for someone who plays the facade of someone he is physically born and hides who he is inside from the rest of the world to avoid potential ridicule. It gnaws at a person by day and in dreams at night. It is there to stay forever and unless measures are taken to materialize who he really is, it can lead to a complete nervous breakdown as well.
Let us all just treat ourselves as humans. Not male, female or trans. Only humans