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Transgender woman in Pakistan: ‘I wasn’t made to be raped and abused’

By Fabio Crispim

Julie is a transgender woman living in Pakistan and she is now bravely pursuing a case against a man who raped her, however in the process she’s being shunned from her own transgender community.

Julie was disowned by her family when she came out at the age of 19 and now the transgender community that previously embraced her when her family failed to, are now refusing to support her.

“I am told that I am being irrational, that I am looking for trouble,” she told the Guardian. “I am supposed to be okay after everything that happened because they tell me this is what I was made for. I was made to be abused. I refuse to accept that.”

But Julie refuses to accept that, “I am a trans woman. I wasn’t made to be raped, abused and ridiculed. I am human and I won’t rest until my rapist is in jail.”

Julie also revealed that she’s received backlash for fighting against her rapist including people threatening to attack her with acid and mutilate her body. She was forced to leave her home and find safety in another town.

However there are people are support here including Uzma Yaqoob, the organisation founder of the Forum for Dignity Initiatives which fights for transgender rights and sex workers.

“I see her as a leader, someone who is standing up and not willing to let community pressure impact her resolve,” Uzma said.

“This is not just a case of rape, it is about the living conditions that the transgender community is subjected to and the inhumane treatment they face throughout their lives.”

Transgender woman are known as ‘hijras’ in Pakistan and are often asked to bless people at weddings or at the birth of a child because they’re believed to possess the power to bless and curse.

Julie is ready to fight against her rapist and to change the perceptions of transgender people in the country.

You can read the full interview with Julie over at the Guardian.

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