CJ. Bushra Mehsud
Unable to fight stigma, her mother even tried to kill Gul Bano, however, her father had rescued his transgender child. But the family had to leave their native village for Karachi as they were unable to face society with a person, who is a transgender.
Bano is an unfortunate shemale born in South Waziristan, who has passed life inside the four walls of her parents’ home. While talking to TNN, Bano said that her ordeals begun right from her childhood, when even her own mother tried to poison her.
Like other parts the country, transgender persons also live in the Tribal districts of the province, but here they’ve to pass lives behind the walls. It is considered a shame for a family to have a transgender person in their family.
Her mother didn’t want the people to know that she has a transgender child due to social stigma. However, Bano’s father was more supportive, who had stopped his wife from taking such a cruel step. But even her father was unable to face society and to escape the ‘shame’ her parents decided to bid adieu to their native land and shifted Karachi where she passed almost half of her life. Bano is now 30-year-old.
Bano has not received a proper education as school was away from her home. She went to school but for a few days. She has received some religious education. Despite her ordeals of being transgender, However, Gul Bano’s family members take the best care of her and give her high respect. She looks after home and family members take her advice in running the household affairs.
Bano is also aware of the hardships faced by the transgender in society. She revealed that one day, in Karachi; her mother took her to Transgender residence where tormented transgender persons explained their ordeals and treatment meted to them by society. Hearing their sufferings, she expressed gratitude to Allah that she is born in a respected family, where everyone gives respect. She has also received a number of marriage proposals; however, it was declined, as they didn’t know that Bano is not a woman but a Shemale.
According to the 2017 census, there is more than 10000 transgender living in the country. While the organization working for the welfare of the transgender community said the number is more is between 5 to 10 million. As families usually don’t register the transgender persons and keep the identity secret from the world, therefore, they could be counted in the census process. During the census, only three individual have registered themselves as transgender in South Waziristan.
Qamar Naseem, who is working for the welfare of transgender persons in the province, has said that government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has passed an act “Protection of transgender Rights act”. But, he said, now the big challenge for them is to register all transgender persons in KP. Naseem added that despite the passage of one year, KP government has failed to implement it in a proper manner and provide protection to transgender persons.
Dr Jamil Chitrali, a professor at the University of Peshawar, told TNN that our society stands on the concept of man and woman leaving no space for a third gender. Thus, it is considered a stigma for society. Chitrali added that it is due to biological changes in the human body due to which a person though looks like a man, but he posses feelings and desires of the opposite sex. Dr Chitral said that in such a situation not only the person finds himself in trouble, but his whole family passes through great ordeals. Dr Chitrali added that it is due to that social stigma that most of the people known as transgender pass their time outside their hometown.
Bano is grieved because, she is not able to get proper education and become a school teacher, which was her childhood dream. She also desires for herself a life passed by other women of her village to be part of social gatherings. The society has kept Bano limited her to the four walls of her home which is her whole world, where she is passing time in service of her old age parents.