We and from the male ward to

We are living in an era where all 7 billion people thatinhabit this world would agree that there are people with different bodies, sexorgans, hormonal changes et cetera. And these differences do not divide humanbeings into two distinct groups i.e.

males and females. There are people whoare unified under an umbrella term that is queer. There is virtually nobody whowill refute this claim. But it does beg the question should these differencestranslate to an unequal treatment of people? Apparently it does in aheteronormative and transphobic country that is Pakistan.Transgender people are being murdered in broad daylight, andwhat is astonishing is not only this heinous act of murder but the treatmentthey get when they are taken to hospitals.

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On 22nd of May 2016, Alesha,a 23-year-old transgender, was attacked and shot eight times. When her friendsrushed her to Lady Reading hospital, there was a five-hour long wait duringwhich she was asked  to go to “a maleward and from the male ward to the female ward.” Upon repeatedly spiralling upand down staircases at the Lady Reading Hospital her party came to know thatthe hospital had “not a place where a transgender in a critical condition canbe treated no place in ICU no place in ward.” And so Alesha was “put on a bedin front of the lavatory” to wait for some tabib and some pity. She was put infront of the lavatory, perhaps, because her people wanted to demonstrate theirpowerlessness in a society that prides itself on its hyper-masculine and heteronormativepower. Another transgender, Mehak, talked about how transgendersare afraid to go to hospitals.

They are looked down upon, and are not given propertreatment. Most doctors feel disgust while examining them. As Mehak sad “We don’tgo 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 doctorsthere examine us because of their greed for money. We don’t even know if theyare proper doctors or not. But that’s the only place we can go to.”  Most transgenders inour country suffer from STD’s and problems related to hormonal imbalance. As aresult, transgenders suffer significant health disparities and may requiremedical intervention as part of their care.

When they aren’t given propertreatment, they just die in silence. Shaista, a 34-year-old transgender, is sufferingfrom hormonal imbalance and is always in pain. Whenever she visits a hospitalshe 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 notdifferent from us, and they deserve the same rights that we are given.

We needto accept them as parts of our society, and help them grow and prosper.

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