The primary aim of the session was to eradicate the hate, bigotry and stigma associated with the transgenders and an effort to communicate with them in equal terms, to give them the same respect we would give to any other human. The session opened with a brief introduction of the Hasaas foundation, its aims and the philanthropic services it has provided till now to the society. The KSS ( Khuwaja Sira Society) then played a short thought provoking video which contained snippets of various transgenders, their plights and the injustices they so often have to face. KSS has been working deligently for the Khuwaja Sira’s in our society and deals with raising awareness about Child Abuse, HIV/AIDS, lack of health care and educational opportunities among many other. After the video, the faculty members of the Sociology department at FCC came forward to present their views on the plight of Khuwaja Sira’s. They encouraged students to remove stereotypes and stigmas in their minds, to view transgenders as equals and to join hands with them to help remove the injustices prevalent in society against them.
Along with Marvia Malik (the first transgender news anchor of Pakistan) the leading transgender persons from KSS who came to FCC for discussion were Moon Ali, Zehrish Khan, Anaya Sheikh and Jannat Ali. In a heart-touching discussion each of them talked to students about their own life experiences, the troubles and hardships that they had faced throughout their lives. Moon Ali, who is currently serving as Program Manager/Director since 2012 at Khawaja Sira Society opened the discussion by explaining the difference between sex and gender, sex being a biological concept and gender being a sociological construct. She then showed the gender unicorn which educated the audience about gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth and physical as well as emotional attraction. She ended the discussion by inviting the audience to accept and integrate the transgender community into society and to help them get equal rights.
Zehrish Khan, who is an aspiring politician, continued the discussion and told some of the heart wrenching realities the transgenders faces in society, to the point that their own parents abandon them at birth. However, she is hopeful for the future and hopes that by working together we can improve conditions and learn to accept transgenders.
Then Anaya Sheikh (part of admin finance KSS, and has been a panelist for numerous transgender seminars) talked about the educational barriers faced by the transgenders. She also talked about how transgenders are only seen as entertainment by the society, and how unfair and unjust this is. Transgenders, she said, are capable of much much more, mentioning various other successful transgenders.
The discussion was concluded by Marvia Malik (the first model, and the first transgender news caster) who talked about issues faced by Khuwaja Sira’s in the work force.
A question answer was then held in an effort to remove commonly held misconceptions by people about transgenders. Overall it was a successful event and ended on a great note.