The Third Gender

 By: Meher Zubair  Date:
The Third Gender

For a moment, think about the number of times you have filled an application form with a routine question of gender. The given options (atleast in Pakistan) are much like the “Bernoulli’s trial” where the possible outcome will exactly be two and mutually exclusive. So you are either a male or a female, and you can’t be little bit of this and a little bit of that. An estimated 500,000 citizens of Pakistan have identified themselves as the third gender and there are many more. They vociferously remind the surroundings to recognize their existence.  


You read the last sentence of the last paragraph without unsettling in your comfort; a segment in our society is treated with disdain every single day of their life because of a hormonal disorder. A social cause is shouldered by a feeling of moral responsibility which can stem from almost any motivation, for instance religious obligation or a sense of humanity. Either way there is a deep seated self realization which leads to a consensus amongst people, until finally someone says “okay, this is a problem, we need to fix it!” Transgender rights have never been extended the courtesy of being named a social cause, let alone being a problem, in Pakistan. It doesn’t settle in quite well in our perceived construct of morality when someone says that you’re treating domestic pets better than transsexuals. So we cower behind sympathy while looking for the glass half filled and we only find one hopeful thing to say in our defense- atleast we think that you’re humans after the Supreme Court’s decision in 2012.  


At the expense of sounding bitter, cynical, reprehensible, unsentimental, disillusioned, contentious and all the synonyms of the world therein. Social causes can easily be listed in order of priority. To take up the first position, a cause has to be heart wrenching as well as saleable. The popularity of an issue defines how much attention it will get from the general public. Discrimination against transsexuals does not embody the same zeal as a child’s right to education; therefore the latter gets much coverage by the mainstream media in Pakistan


You would imagine religion to bring any sense of solace since being transsexual isn’t a choice, which inadvertently makes it divine will. The clergy coughs to silence this matter with a flavor of ultra-masculinity. Where the preacher giggles at trans-sexuality, he scowls at homosexuality. The argument of theologians is based on the foundation of creationism that God did not send Adam and Eve in lieu of Adam and Steve. Some others say souls have a gender. The genetic pattern is also represented by XX for female and XY for male. If there was a neutral stage between sexual orientation then there should have been a Z in the pattern.  


A rebuttal with a genetic fact and a logical deduction by any religion brings tears in your eyes because of its rarity. Nevertheless the question isn’t the matter of homosexuality being permissible or forbidden in religion. A man once said “In every country and in every age, the priest has always been hostile to liberty”. It is astounding to what length the people are empowered to adjudicate a matter which has no impact on their well being. If two people of the same sex want to be together and you have a problem with it, then you’re allowed to hold a prejudice but not a scuffle. If people criticize homosexuality for destroying the collective consciousness of a society then the same principle should apply on religion for destroying individual freedom.  


If being transsexual and homosexual is a choice then please give it a try - If you can’t give it a try then admit that it isn’t a choice. It so happens that we are all party to condemning, censuring and disparaging a group of people for simply being who they are. We are punishing them for existing and that is as inhuman as one gets. 

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