Pakistan Recognizes Third Gender

Pakistan Recognizes Third Gender by Ria Misra:  The Supreme Court in Pakistan ordered that the government officially recognize a separate gender for Pakistan’s hijra community, which includes transgendered people, transvestites, and eunuchs. The court told the federal government to begin allowing people to identify as hijras when registering for a national identity card.  Not having an identity card, or having one with incorrect information, leaves a person vulnerable and easily excluded from society.  In India, voters are required to identify their sex both on their voter ID cards and at the polls. The insistence that they identify as male or female effectively barred many transgendered and transvestite people from the polls until late this year, when the government declared that for the purposes of voting it would recognize a third option.  In addition, a warning was issued that the hijras’ rights of inheritance would be enforced, and that police harassment would not be permitted, a sign, perhaps, of rulings to come.

Gosh, even Pakistan is more progressive than we are? A friend asked why I care about this stuff if I’m neither gay nor transgendered – it’s cuz I’m HUMAN.

If the government is going to make us check a box for gender (or ethnicity), then we need to have relevant choices. The old male/female only, or black/white/asian only choices no longer apply.

And jeez, how do we keep track of ethnicity these days anyway?  In another two generations we’ll all be  Winsor & Newton Raw Umber anyway.

That will make it hard to know who to hate, huh?


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