We a bed in front of the lavatory” to

We are living in an era where all 7 billion people that
inhabit this world would agree that there are people with different bodies, sex
organs, hormonal changes et cetera. And these differences do not divide human
beings into two distinct groups i.e. males and females. There are people who
are unified under an umbrella term that is queer. There is virtually nobody who
will refute this claim. But it does beg the question should these differences
translate to an unequal treatment of people? Apparently it does in a
heteronormative and transphobic country that is Pakistan.

Transgender people are being murdered in broad daylight, and
what is astonishing is not only this heinous act of murder but the treatment
they get when they are taken to hospitals. On 22nd of May 2016, Alesha,
a 23-year-old transgender, was attacked and shot eight times. When her friends
rushed her to Lady Reading hospital, there was a five-hour long wait during
which she was asked  to go to “a male
ward and from the male ward to the female ward.” Upon repeatedly spiralling up
and down staircases at the Lady Reading Hospital her party came to know that
the hospital had “not a place where a transgender in a critical condition can
be treated no place in ICU no place in ward.” And so Alesha was “put on a bed
in front of the lavatory” to wait for some tabib and some pity. She was put in
front of the lavatory, perhaps, because her people wanted to demonstrate their
powerlessness in a society that prides itself on its hyper-masculine and heteronormative
power.

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Another transgender, Mehak, talked about how transgenders
are afraid to go to hospitals. They are looked down upon, and are not given proper
treatment. Most doctors feel disgust while examining them. As Mehak sad “We don’t
go to well-established hospitals as we are not able to pay the medical expense.
The only option we are left with is a small clinic near our house. The doctors
there examine us because of their greed for money. We don’t even know if they
are proper doctors or not. But that’s the only place we can go to.”

 Most transgenders in
our country suffer from STD’s and problems related to hormonal imbalance. As a
result, transgenders suffer significant health disparities and may require
medical intervention as part of their care. When they aren’t given proper
treatment, they just die in silence. Shaista, a 34-year-old transgender, is suffering
from hormonal imbalance and is always in pain. Whenever she visits a hospital
she is prescribed a painkiller and nothing else.

However, amidst all this inhumanity, there are organizations,
such as Naz, that provide medical care to transgenders.  We need to realize that transgenders are not
different from us, and they deserve the same rights that we are given. We need
to accept them as parts of our society, and help them grow and prosper.

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