Fakiha Ali:

Many people have it in their mind that we wake up and choose to be trans. He needs individuals to realize that it’s not a decision. Nothing has occurred in his life to make him trans. He was born trans. In a total stereotypical environment around, born in a family of Pakhtoons ( Pathans) , He was received with open arms as a daughter with lots of pre-conceived notions about a girl child in a typical Pakistani Society. It’s hard for a child to always explain his/her feelings in words and to understand himself about some odds happening around. Every day he was fighting a battle within himself to understand her strange feelings and how his family was reacting to it.

Sumair Ali Khan is a Trans man from Pakistan and an enthusiastic UI/UX freelance designer. He intends to present and spotlight cultural and economic human rights issues that are currently affecting Pakistani society especially sexual minorities through his blog writing. He has been working as a graphic/web designer for last 6 years almost along with writing many articles and making many social media campaign for the different causes regarding human rights and freedom of speech.

When I asked Sumair to share the insights of discovering himself as transgender rather a girl, He explained,

“Growing up, I was supposed to wear feminine clothing and behave in a customary feminine manner; both making me feel utterly miserable.  Ultimately, without consciously being aware of what I truly felt, I used to throw tantrums, play sick and refused to dress up to visit relatives and places”.

However, I was not fully aware of what was happening to me. I didn’t understand why I was so angry all the time. All I could reason out at that young age was the fact that I wanted to dress up in boys’ attires (always preferring to wear Trouser and a T-shirt to the conventional girls’ dresses). I hated anything and everything that sounded or seemed ‘feminine’ be it the dresses or the toys (I preferred toolsets over Barbie dolls).

The time, when children only worry about homework and think about their favorite cartoon character and fantasize about toys, Sumair life had already become like a roller-coaster and yes the life between the ages of 14 and 18 were the most difficult ones. He began to hate himself , which seemed devoid of any aim, any goal or an inspiring purpose. His life came to a halt without any ray of hope and he sucked at the end of a tunnel where it lead to but a dead end.

Sumair explained further to me that :

“ I suffered from high levels of depression and anxiety. I contemplated suicide as my ultimate end. Many friends left me during those days, and the one who hung around also seemed rather uncomfortable. My student life can be easily termed a phase where I became an easy target or victim of gender role. With time, Studying about sexual and gender minority’s rights increased my frustration. It appeared to me that being a lesbian/gay was easier and their lives are well protected and advocated by the liberals, as compared to being a transsexual. I somehow lost hope to live”.

There was a time when he was in a state that he  did not want to talk with anyone from family and out of the family and even friends. He saturated himself, the sunset used to give him the feeling that he would die soon.  Sumair expressed his emotions to me and added that “I was almost numb and had this feeling my life has no better way further to live. I stigmatized under the fear.  I can say I was bit lucky when I came out to my mother about my situation she listened to me so calmly and asked me few questions , what if you go through the whole process then would you able to live like a normal life as health and mental healthy point of you, she said she would support me because they already had this idea somehow but they were waiting for me to speak up, later she talked to my father who is a stroke patient that shocked him a bit but his response was incredibly opposite to my expectation. I remember he never talked to me directly about it. but when I hit teenage they started enforcing me to behave like a girl because of the socially conservative society, at times I was compelled to change my whole lifestyle and was asked to accept my destiny but I knew myself more than the people who were putting pressure me so there I started exploring myself because during all I learnt to live there is nothing to be happened unless I don’t work to change my destiny. My father for the very first time talked to me, he was way worried due to the society which I could totally understand. I felt my parents are fine and supportive but they are concern about the security point of view too. Perhaps, Acceptance was the only choice they had. Lucky me! “

Trans individuals are the same as every other person, our beliefs in life are to be glad, to be respected, to be well-situated. I’ve had people who have straightforwardly said to me that they’ve had preconceptions around trans individuals however when they’ve met me they’ve seen more – it’s my identity and the way that I was conceived. There’s no genuine distinction amongst myself and individuals who are cisgender.

There are many incidents and all of them have their sides some have good memories and some really harsh enough to be recalled forever.

However, being a trans man allows him to perhaps bring some important elements towards what being a man is or could be and led by example so that other men will catch on. Having been in someone else’s shoes allows us to understand on a far deeper level what others go through and how very important it is to treat anyone and everyone with kindness, equality, and show that men can be kind and caring. Men can be soft, they can cry, they can be comforting, they can jump a car, they can cook a dish, they can do the laundry, and they can tend to children. they can feel another’s pain, and they can sympathize. They have the truly unique and rare ability to have walked among other worlds, and they can use that to bridge a gap and bring a whole new meaning to what it is to be a man.

Now is the time, when we should understand the gender roles and inclusion of transgender in every walk of life by bringing them into mainstream because You don’t fully understand the boxes until you break them, and it’s a beautiful world outside.

Fakiha Ali aims to amplify the voices of underrepresented and marginalized communities of Pakistan using a variety of mediums including public awareness campaigns and research. Her current focus is utilizing the potential of transgender community in development of human resources through research and vocational trainings. On the other hand, being an Emerging Leader of Pakistan fellow with Atlantic council of U.S., She is on the verge of collaborating with different community based organizations working for the empowerment of third gender and marginalized people. Fakiha has also represented Pakistan in south Asian youth conference, held in Sri Lanka in 2015. While seeing her passion and dedication for removing the stigma against third gender, Fakiha has been selected as a highly commended runner up for Queen’s Young Leader Award, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with comic relief and the Royal Common Wealth society.

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