TransAction Pakistan is reporting that she was shot dead Friday, July 20th, 2018 in the Chiniya Nawali area of Hafizabad during a wedding performance. The transgender wedding dancer identified as Sania by Samaa news was killed after asking a drunken party-goer to stop harassing the performers.
A group of transgender persons was invited to dance at the wedding party where a brawl erupted between them and a guest over unwanted sexual advances, Daily Pakistan reported.
The transgenders women were trying to stop the wedding guest from harassing them when he got angry and opened fire on them, killing a group member on the spot.
The police have registered a case against the suspect who is still at large. The transgender community protested against the incident and asked the Chief Justice Saqib Nisar to take action against the killing.
Transgender persons are often targeted and denied their rights in Pakistan’s deeply patriarchal society. Dancing at weddings and stage performances are the most common professions that the marginalised community’s members take up. In Pakistan, stage performers have little protection. In April this year, pregnant singer Samina Sindhu was shot dead for being unable to dance while singing. Transgender performers face even worse discrimination. Aish Khan, a transgender performer based in Karachi, told SAMAA that men get drunk at most of the functions.
“I used to perform at all-men gatherings but have stopped that because I have been assaulted four times,” she said. “The men consider us their private property and do not respect our choices. Now, I just perform at family functions.”
Performers are ill-treated if they say no. “Men at a DHA event shaved the eyebrows of my friend, Payal, just to humiliate her,” she said. “Our community protested and the police arrested him, only to let him off in a few hours. I saw him again at a function in Baldia and he asked me to meet him alone. When I said no, he told me that he’ll kidnap me on my way.”
Aish said men do not consider them humans. “We are humans and we get tired after continuous performance from 12am to 5am,” she said. “If I want to sit and rest for a while, they get furious.”