Riffe Khan, a Pakistani transgender, prefers to be an advocate for her community rather dancing and begging.
The transgender community in Pakistan is always on the decline. As a society, we never try to understand them or to feel their pain of being rejected by family and society. Even talking about this community is more like a taboo.
Riffe Khan is a transwoman living in Karachi. She belongs to a well-educated family from Larkana. As feared, soon after realizing her identity, her family also rejected her. Fortunately enough they soon reckoned that Riffe is also a part of them.
As she tried to seek help from a Guru living in her neighborhood, life became much easier for her. He gave his best to convince Riffe’s father that by putting pressure on Riffe she could become rebellious.
Luckily Riffe’s father understood and became supportive of her. Right then she decided to get proper education and help the transgender community in Pakistan.
“In the beginning, it was not easy going to school, I was not allowed to sit with the girls and was forced to dress like a boy. More than this the teachers used to ask me to sing and dance as if that is what a transgender was supposed to do”
Riffe Khan said.
Now she holds a double master degree from Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur. Riffe advocates for transgender rights in Sindh. It’s a saddening fact that her sisters are professors and her brothers run their own business but she is still struggling to find a reasonable job just because of her gender.
Despite the fact that Supreme Court of Pakistan had given 2% quota to the transgender community in Pakistan in Karachi but not even two transgender are given jobs.
“Many of us are not even registered, citizens. Getting identity cards is a big challenge,” she said.
Riffe Stands for Her Community
“I help as much as I can I go to NADRA offices with transgender community to assist them. I also worked with the government to open a separate window for the transgender community. Thankfully, some NADRA offices now have the separate window for our community,”
If people start understanding the transgender community in Pakistan more nicely, their lives would be a lot better then is right now.
Do you agree with the attitude our society has the towards the transgender community in Pakistan? What is your opinion?