• Transgender people in Pakistan still face discrimination, despite being granted equal rights in 2012. (SBS)Source: SBS
It's the first time in a decade the transgender community has been able to openly host a function.
By
Michaela Morgan

30 Jan 2017 - 4:13 PM  UPDATED 30 Jan 2017 - 4:17 PM

Under the protection of the police guard, a party celebrating the life of a 40-year-old transgender person was successfully held in Peshwar, Pakistan.

Farzana Jan - the President of the Trans Action Group - says that in the past, transgender parties have either been stopped halfway or cancelled altogether, even if they were initially granted permission. In the past, authorities have been known to raid these parties and shut them down.

“It’s the first time in a decade that we have openly hosted such a function,” says Farzana.

The parties are held to mark the middle of someone’s life, rather than celebrate the day of their birth.

Chocolate, a party-goer and transgender person, says the gatherings are very similar to weddings.

“We all get together, friends, fraternity brothers, and we all give money to the person for whom the party is being held.

“With the money collected, we start some sort of business or work and try and earn a living. We also clear our debts to others."

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“We know our religion is against of all kinds of discrimination and hatred and teaches us lessons of unity, love and peace."

Guest of honour Shakeela said, “I was afraid that I may not be able to experience this occasion, as it took us a lot of time to convince authorities to allow us to host it.

“This is the first and last birthday of my life. It is an important, and the happiest, occasion of my life.”

Despite the success of the party, transgender people in Pakistan face constant discrimination.

Transgender citizens were granted equal rights by the Supreme Court in 2012 but instances of violence against the community have reportedly increased.  

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