FJS and FSA organizes The Acceptance Program: A Seminar by Khawaja Siras May07


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FJS and FSA organizes The Acceptance Program: A Seminar by Khawaja Siras

Forman Journalism Society in collaboration with Forman Sociological Association and Hassas Foundation has once again kept its tradition of astounding Formanites by bringing yet another enthralling session which showcased the narrative of several successful transgenders from different walks of life including media, business and marketing. The primary motive behind the aforementioned session was to eradicate a mindset of hate and bigotry against transgenders who are as much a part of society as men and women are.

The session commenced with an introduction through a video to what altruistic services Hassas foundation has done up till now in collaboration with Haath Barrao for the wider society.  These altruistic services comprise of helping mentally challenged people in Lahore and Islamabad through several beneficial workshops and establishing orphanages. Shortly afterwards there was an introduction through the same video of the KSS (Khawaja Sira Society) and its different leading transgenders including the one who came to FCC for divulging their narrative to the young students.  KSS has been very vocal about issues like Child Abuse as well as issues like uplifting the lifestyles of Khawaja Siras by for example also providing them the required healthcare facilities against life-threatening ailments like HIV/AIDS.  Along with Marvia Malik (the first transgender news anchor of Pakistan) the leading transgender persons from KSS who came to FCC for discussion were Moon Ali, Zehrish Khan, Anaya Sheikh and Jannat Ali. Each one of them shared their individual experiences along with some points which were common to their narrative like Transgender Protection Bill and about their NIC’s from NADRA. After the aforementioned video ended, faculty members of FCC’s Sociology department shed some light on the plight of Transgender community in Pakistan with a primary emphasis on telling the young Formanites that “Join hands with them (Transgenders)” and help them in their emotional, physical, financial and economic survival in society.

After the faculty members, the invited Khawaja Siras spoke their hearts out to the audience with their narrative which solely demands equal rights as respectable citizens of the country. Moon Ali was the first to speak and when through the host audience came to know her achievements including her work with UNDP, World Bank and Lahore Chamber of Commerce everyone applauded her with their claps. Moon showed audience a few power point slides about the difference between Gender and Sex as one is a -social construct whereas the other is a biological concept. Through those slides, Moon also showed a Gender Unicorn which comprised not just of Gender identity but also of Gender expression, Sex assigned at birth and physical as well as emotional attraction. She also added to the existing knowledge of the audience an interesting piece of information which was that 66 genders in total by far have been discovered. At the end of her speech, Moon emphasized how inclusion shall be there for people belonging to her community not isolation. Then Zehrish Khan (an aspiring politician) came and she talked about how family acceptance isn’t there for Khawaja Siras but she is still hopeful and she expressed her hopefulness by mentioning instances like how now people from her community are also getting deserved positive attention and coverage from the mainstream Pakistani media.

Then Anaya Sheikh (has been a part of different LGBTQ Seminars globally) spoke about issues like how previously Khawaja Siras had a negative image of just being the ones who are either beggars or sex workers but now that image has changed with Trans models , anchors and even stand up comedians like her creating a buzz in the news headlines. But she still yearns for a separate section for transgenders along with male and female ones on the admission forms of several renowned Pakistani universities.

Then Marvia Malik astounded the audience by speaking about her zealous approach to the uplifting of living standards of her community within the capacity of a media person.