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Pakistan is hosting four days of Trans Pride this weekend

Pakistan is hosting four days of Trans Pride this weekend

  • Organizers want to tackle stigma in a country where LGBT+ murders are common.
Trans Pride in Lahore, Pakistan.

Pakistan will see its second ever Trans Pride this weekend – as the country also celebrates its annual Independence Day.

Community organization Track T, which set up Pakistan’s first Trans Pride in 2018, is organizing the events. However, this year they will be held online due to coronavirus.

During the pandemic, the group has been supporting the community including by giving ‘more than 2,000 deserving community members… monthly food rations, financial assistance and medical support’.

It says: ‘We claim and create safe, inclusive, and enabling spaces for our transgender and marginalized communities in Pakistan.

‘We also try to end the stigma and discrimination attached with all gender and sexualities in society.’

The Pride will include an event looking at how the community is coping with COVID-19.

The Pride events will also focus on history, art, economic empowerment, politics, disability and mental health. And they will celebrate with performances and a DJ.

LGB and trans rights in Pakistan

Overall, the LGBT+ community enjoys few rights in Pakistan.

The country criminalizes gay sex and the law punishes it with the death penalty. However, there are no records of executions. Instead the law leads to widespread blackmail and police corruption.

Meanwhile there are no anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and bi people.

However, Pakistan is slightly more tolerant of trans people. It has offered the right to change legal gender since 2010.

Moreover, in 2018, it banned discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, education, health care, access to goods and services, housing and holding public office.

Despite this, trans people often face violence, rape and even murder. Last year, a group shot two trans women and doctors refused to treat them.

Much of the prejudice is based on religion. Muslim clerics have said trans people deceive men, are all actually gay and should be killed.

Track T organized the first Trans Pride on 29 December 2018. The event attracted a big crowd in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city.