Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pakistan's Supreme Court rules: Pakistanis can opt for 3rd sex on their identity cards

This decision, reported by BBC News, is really groundbreaking. The video is excellent, and note in particular how Shahzadi recounts that as a young person, s/he realized that s/he wasn't either a boy or a girl. Note that in the West, the normative account of the "transgendered" is that he or she was trapped in the wrong body. Because of the existence of the social grouping and cultural category of the hijra in South Asia, it is possible there to imagine oneself as belonging to a "third" category.

I hope all those Westerners who love to congratulate themselves for the supposed "advanced" position of the West on matters gender and sexual will note that Pakistan has moved way, way beyond "us" in the question of the rights of the transgendered. Can you imagine the impact on the transgendered in the US, if they were stopped by the police, and their "third" status was recognized on the driver's license or the passport?

Here's the full report from BBC--but watch the vid:

(6 April 2011 Last updated at 08:52 ET)

Pakistan has taken the landmark decision to allow transsexuals to have their own gender category on some official documents.

The country's Supreme Court has ruled that those Pakistanis who do not consider themselves to be either male or female should be allowed to choose an alternative sex when they apply for their national identity cards.

No comments: