The ‘X’ gender

The resumption of registration of transgender persons in the national database is a positive step.

The resumption of registration of transgender persons in the national database is a positive step. It will surely go a long way in compiling and updating statistics of the third sex, and enabling them to become part and parcel of the mainstream population without any bias or sense of otherness. This was necessary because doing away with the sense of neglect and marginalisation that is otherwise prevalent in the society, as such pupils are widely considered as a taboo. Nadra signposting identity cards with ‘X’ prefix for such persons is laudable, and one hopes people from the shadows will come forward to be recognised and make their presence felt in society.

This minority community is pathetically ignored and this is where the problem rests. As per 2017 census estimates, there are more than 10,000 listed people. But no one is sure as to what is the real strength of such souls who are scattered and in the woods, and seek a living on the sidelines as a destitute. At the same time they are discriminated against, and one of the most sexually exploited folks. The process of registration will buoy in them a sense of collectiveness to redefine and live with their nature-blessed identity. They can move on to form associations and seek their due in national strata in terms of political amalgamation, job opportunities and a rightfully-acclaimed legal protocol.

Nadra must lead from the front in ensuring that all such people who proudly introduce themselves as transgender are acknowledged. The superior courts and civil society already have nodded for their due status and rights, and it is high time they are counted and credited accordingly. Misgivings about them, and their birth DNA, in the legal and religious context, must not graduate into a standoff and their fundamental provisions of life, property, security and prosperity must be assured. Nadra has a national mandate to come full circle the plurality of society by honouring transgender souls.

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