Pakistan: Reality show contestant says trans people ‘should be killed’

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A young woman appearing on a popular Pakistani reality show has said that all trans people “should be killed” as they are “useless” burdens on society.

The woman, identified by her first name Mariam, appeared on the television show, “Living on the edge: Kon hai risk taker” (Who will take the risk?)

Asked by the host to name one thing she hated, she responded she hated “hijras”.

The word hijra in Asia covers trans people, cross-dressers and eunuchs, and is often used as an insult.

Mariam, who is an aspiring model, told the host that if she ever gave birth to a hijra child, she would “finish it” as hijras were useless and had no place in society.

The host Waqar Zaka, who is also the show’s producer, slammed the participant calling her his biggest disappointment ever. He also said he would have slapped her had she been a man.

Throughout the incident however, she did not express any remorse at what she had said, nor show any signs of being upset that she was admonished publicly by the host.

The episode was posted on the web site of a gay rights organization, Queer Pakistan.

The television channel, ARV Musik, distanced itself from the contestant by running a disclaimer that said it did not support her views.

Although being gay is a punishable offense in Pakistan, the hijra culture has widespread acceptance, partly due to its ties with Pakistani culture.

In April, it was announced that for the first time transgender people would be able to run for office in Pakistan’s general elections with their gender identity recognised.

Earlier this month, Queer Pakistan also first announced its website, carrying the slogan “Don’t hate us, Know us”, which aims to provide a form of community for the underground gay community in the country.

Last month, writing exclusively for PinkNews, a young gay Muslim in Pakistan shared his experiences of life in the staunchly conservative country.

He said: “A typical Muslim society does not even know what the word “gay” means? Let’s see it in a more specific aspect; in terms of a ‘Pakistani Muslim Society’.

“It is often confused with transgender here in Pakistan. People normally call transgenders gay. I have seen many times, people in their 50’s say, ‘Look! A gay is coming, don’t go near him and the one who is walking by is transgender’.”