One of Pakistan’s leading trans rights activists has kickstarted her modeling career with a stunning photoshoot.
Kami Sid is one of the country’s most vocal and best known activist, who has been interviewed by a number of national and international publications and featured on the BBC’s How Gay Is Pakistan? documentary.
Now, Sid has reached another milestone in her work, by becoming Pakistan’s first trans model.
Together with Karachi-based stylist Waqar J Khan, photographer Haseeb M Siddiqi, and makeup artist Nighat Misbah, she staged a powerful photoshoot dedicated to tackle Pakistan’s transphobia.
They also hope it’ll help break long-standing stereotypes about what it means to be transgender.
‘When Waqar, who is also a friend of mine, approached me to do the shoot, I was totally on board but unsure about how it would do,’ she told Pak News Club.
‘I just feel it’s a great platform and opportunity for me to not only explore my talents but also represent the transgender community with dignity in front of mainstream society.’
Sid also said she could see herself as a model, should the opportunity arise, and that it was time for trans people to finally become visible in Pakistan’s vibrant fashion scene.
‘The transgender community has remained backstage for too long, doing makeup or other errands,’ Sid said.
‘By now we should be able to come forward and let people know that we too are a force to be reckoned with.’
Since 2015, Pakistan has seen an alarming rise in violence against trans people.
Last year, 45 trans people were killed in the country’s northern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, according to BuzzFeed India.
In May 2016, a trans woman only identified Alisha was shot. When she was admitted to a Peshwar hospital, staff had a debate whether Alisha should be admitted to the male or female ward.
In the end, the delay cost her life.