#SharingInspriringStories: Meet Kami Sid – Pakistan’s First Trans Model & Human Right Activist

Life is not as easy at it seems to be as your grow older. Especially if you’re God’s special being.

 

Its 2020, But still Transgenders are struggling to find an acceptance within our society. 

However, our inspiration in spotlight today is an exception. She has made her community and our country proud with making herself recognisable and heard.

Kami Sid, an influencer, Trans and Human Rights Activist and Pakistan’s first trans model has been running her own organisation in Karachi promoting the rights and well-being of gender and sexual minorities and through her work in film, television and fashion, she hopes to gain visibility for trans Pakistanis.
In 2017, she starred in the short-film Rani, which won several awards in international film festivals. Currently she’s working on documentary film “Sangat” and also wrote a short film about “Transgender love story”
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Here is Kami sharing her inspiring story in her words ❤️

“Growing up my life was not easy but I saw my mother raising eight children alone and I knew that struggle is an important part of life.

All transgender people I know have similar childhood stories of being bullied and mocked. I went to a coeducational school where I was relentlessly teased by the boys so I sat with the girls, which made the boys tease me more. They would do the stereotypical khawaja sira clap as I passed by. But children are cruel because they aren’t taught any better.

At home, I was the youngest among eight siblings and my older brothers and sisters would try to ‘fix’ me. They would say that you’re different but you can be ok. There was no education about gender identity or sexuality so I didn’t understand why I was different. When I gained access to the internet, I learnt about gender identities and at 22, I began to identify as transgender.

I was never interested in becoming a fashion model. I only aspired to be a role model. I have accepted offers from magazines because I want transgender people to gain visibility and for the fashion industry to become more inclusive.

The only work I have done on television has been for a social cause. I try to ensure that whatever I do doesn’t bring harm to anyone – neither to myself nor the trans community. It took me months to accept my first modelling offer. I was wary of being exploited and scared for my safety. After what happened to Qandeel Baloch, security is a real concern for anyone pushing the boundaries in a very visible way.

Even with the film Rani, I wasn’t interested initially because Rani’s character is very sad and emotional and I am the opposite. But I liked that there was no stereotyping in the film. Rani is defiantly independent and supports herself by selling toys in the streets. The film humanises transgender people and reminds the audience that they are just as capable of compassion as anyone else. It ended up being a success and winning awards internationally. I am happy that my work has paved the way for others. Today, we’re seeing more and more transgender people getting cast in films and appearing on television.

But what I am most proud of is my work as an activist and with HIV-Aids patients. There I served as a bridge between the clinic and the community and became stronger in the process. I am running my own organisation called Subrang Society which works for the uplift of sexual minorities through awareness-raising, advocacy and projects aimed at economic empowerment.

A lot of it is motivated by the desire to make headlines with the over-used phrase ‘first transgender’ this or ‘first transgender’ that. I abhor this term even when people insist on using it for me. I understood when the media referred to me as ‘Pakistan’s first transgender model’ two years ago but when it is still used every time I am introduced, I feel like I am being stereotyped again.

The trouble is that when you’re trying to gain visibility, you do become vulnerable to exploitation and it is a difficult line to tread.”

All power to you Kami, May your success sees no boundaries! 

For more updates stay tuned to People Pakistan.

 

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