Pakistan, Asia

Pakistan has witnessed invasions and settlement by the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mongols and the British. It was a part of British Raj from 1858 to 1947, when the Pakistan Movement resulted in the independence and creation of the state of Pakistan. The country is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia. The Pakistani armed forces are the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping efforts, with more than 10,000 personnel deployed in 2007. Being gay is considered a taboo vice and gay rights are close to non-existent. Laws are harsh yet go unopposed in most cases. If individual orientation and acceptance isn't enough, young boys in some cases are forced to delve into sexual activities with older men. Read More. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality


News & Reports:


Pakistan court rules against trans individuals as contrary to Sharia

In its determination the court found that “the Islamic teachings do not allow individuals to change their gender at their own will Islamabad, Pakistan – The Federal Shariat Court ruled May 19 to enact revocation of sections of the country’s Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, of 2018. According to Pakistan media outlet ARY, the… Read more »

Superheroes, jazz, queer art: how Pakistan’s transgressive pop culture went global

In August, Pakistan’s three censor boards cleared Saim Sadiq’s award-winning film Joyland for release. Shot in Lahore, the film is about a young married man from a conservative family who finds work at a dance theatre and falls in love with a trans woman struggling to land her moment on stage. It was the first… Read more »

PM Khan launches healthcare scheme for transgender Pakistanis

  Khan said his government was resolute in protecting the transgender population of Pakistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched a health scheme for the transgender community in the Muslim-majority country. The Sehat Insaf Card, which falls under the government’s Sehat Sahulat Program, is a scheme designed to improve healthcare access and provide… Read more »

Lesbian wedding of Pakistani-Indian couple – wearing sari and sherwani

In a lesbian wedding that showed “love has no borders”, two women – one from India, one from Pakistan – have married in a ceremony wearing traditional outfits. Bianca Maieli wore an ivory sari at her wedding to new wife Saima Ahmad, who wore a sherwani – an outfit traditionally worn by male brides in… Read more »

Three Artists Tell Us What It’s Like To Be Queer, Muslim and Pakistani

Aziz Sohail, Abdullah Qureshi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr are working together to give more visibility to the voices from the LGBTQ community of their country. This article originally appeared on VICE IN. “hey too sexy to be a enemy Never got to kiss a Pakistani hehe (sic) ” — “Aap apna tashreef lekar dafa… Read more »

Pakistan human rights minister hires first trans employee

A huge step for trans citizens in Pakistan The Human Rights Minister in Pakistan has hired a trans woman to her department for the first time. Doctor Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari announced the appointment yesterday (30 May) on Twitter. Many LGBTI people and allies praised the move. A monumental step in a country where progress for… Read more »

Trans people held the first ever trans pride march in Pakistan

Transgender people and their allies took to the streets of Lahore Transgender people gathered in Lahore for the first ever trans pride march in Pakistan this weekend. Taking place on Saturday (29th December), transgender people and their allies took to the streets in support of trans rights. The event kicked off with a press conference… Read more »

Pakistan opens first ward offering separate treatment for transgender patients

The specialist ward comes amid an ‘endemic’ of violence against Pakistan’s transgender community A specialist hospital ward to offer treatment for transgender patients has opened in Pakistan. The ward in capital city Islamabad will offer members of the transgender community free treatment with specialist doctors focussing on the treatment of transgender patients. The ward’s inauguration… Read more »

First drivers license given to trans woman in Islamabad, Pakistan

‘The winds of change… will be entering into other parts of Pakistan now’ After complaining to the police chief that trans people faced too many hurdles in trying to get drivers licenses, a trans woman has become the first to get one in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Laila Ali had approached Inspector General of Islamabad Police… Read more »

Constant homophobic abuse won’t stop this Middle East lesbian helping others

‘It makes me happy and makes me want to live.’ Aisha a 29-year-old Muslim lesbian living in the Middle East describes her life as ‘one blockade after another’. Even though her father is extremely abusive, Aisha can’t move out. It’s not culturally accepted for women to move out of their family homes until they are… Read more »

Transgender Pakistanis Demand Protection After Murder, Dismemberment

Dozens of transgender people have staged a protest in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar to demand more protection after a transgender woman was shot dead and dismembered. The protesters gathered on August 20 outside the Peshawar Press Club, chanting: “We want protection. We want respect and rights.” On August 16, a transgender woman named… Read more »

Out of the Shadows: Pakistan’s Transgender Candidates Step Onto the Political Stage

Each week, residents of Islamabad call in to Nadeem Kashish’s radio show to vent frustration with the problems bedeviling Pakistan’s capital: a lack of running water; chronic electrical outages; soaring rent prices. On air, Kashish’s voice crackles with energy, imploring listeners to vote and hold politicians accountable on their campaign promises. But the program has… Read more »

Pakistan Passes Historic Transgender Rights Bill

Pakistan’s parliament passed a landmark bill on Tuesday that gives the country’s transgender citizens fundamental rights. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act allows people to choose their gender and to have that identity recognized on official documents, including national IDs, passports and driver’s licenses. The bill also prohibits discrimination in schools, at work, on… Read more »

Pakistan opens first transgender school

Founders hope vocational courses will enable marginalised community to find acceptance Pakistan’s first-ever school for transgender students has welcomed its first students this week. Around 40 adult students at the Gender Guardian School in Lahore are studying vocational courses in eight fields, including graphic design, cookery and fashion design. The pioneering institute aims to provide… Read more »

Pakistan’s first transgender news anchor Marvia Malik: ‘I struggled a lot to be accepted’

Marvia Malik is Pakistan’s first transgender news presenter. In a DW interview, Malik says she had to work hard to break taboos and finally be accepted by a society that discriminates against transgender people. DW: Congratulations on becoming Pakistan’s first transgender news presenter. How has the news been received in Pakistan? Marvia Malik: The response… Read more »

Pakistan’s transgender community takes another step forward

Despite help from Supreme Court decisions, members of sexual minority say, on the ground, progress often feels distant. Lahore, Pakistan – In her twenties, Jannat Ali dreamt of walking outside as a woman. Society, however, wanted her to live in one of two gender boxes. But she never fully identified with either. “I always felt… Read more »

Pakistan’s Transgender Women, Long Marginalized, Mobilize For Rights

In a Muslim shrine in Lahore’s ancient quarter, men and women pray around the tomb of a local saint. They hurl garlands and flower petals toward the tomb, each from their own, gender-segregated side: men from the left, women from the right. On each side, transgender women lead the believers in song. Among the men,… Read more »

Transgender Women In Pakistan Demand Equal Rights

Heard on Morning Edition Gays and lesbians live secret lives in Pakistan. But to be a transgender woman there is a different experience. They’re mobilizing a movement for equal rights — and scoring victories. Rachel Martin, Host: To say living as a gay person in Pakistan is difficult is an understatement. Homosexuality is illegal there,… Read more »

Muslim woman reveals abuse growing up as a lesbian in Pakistan

A Muslim woman has described how hard it was growing up as a lesbian in Pakistan, where homosexuality is illegal. ‘Zayna’, 40, who moved to the UK in 2010, said she was discriminated against because of her sexuality but always stayed true to herself. Shopkeeper raped customer when she asked if she could charge her… Read more »

University in Pakistan offers free education for transgender students

A university in Pakistan has offered to give free education to transgender people. The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is a public research university, based in the capital Islamabad. It was the first open university in Asia and one of the largest higher learning institutions in the world. Elementary School The institution announced this week… Read more »

Transgender bill introduced in Pakistan parliament

The bill is the first piece of proposed legislation that extends recognition to this often-ignored segment of society, Dawn news reported. For the first time, a legislation has been introduced in Pakistan’s lower house of parliament to protect the fundamental rights of transgender people in the conservative Muslim nation. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights)… Read more »

Saris swirl at rare Pakistan transgender party

Peshawar, Pakistan – At a party in Peshawar, the guests’ saris twirled as they danced to the music and fed each other pieces of cake, but armed police guarding the door indicated this was no normal carefree birthday gathering. The revellers were transgender, people who run the risk of violence in conservative Muslim Pakistan where… Read more »

Queer life undercover in South Asia

We Were Lounging on oversized floor cushions in my parents’ living room in Karachi when my friend Ali Mehdi Zaidi told me he was moving to London. The talented photographer said he couldn’t stand living as a gay man in Pakistan, where the gay scene was too focused on one-night stands, abuse, and subterfuge. He… Read more »

Pakistani Clerics Declare Transgender Marriages Legal

Karachi, Pakistan (Reuters) – A group of clerics in Pakistan has declared marriage between transgender individuals permissible in Islam, saying they have a right to be buried in Muslim ceremonies, according to a copy of a religious edict Reuters obtained on Monday. Transgender people also have full rights under Islamic inheritance law, the Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat… Read more »

Everything you need to know about being gay in Muslim countries

The official fiction, Brian Whitaker explains, is that gay people don’t exist in the Middle East. They do – and for many of them, the attitudes of family and society are a much bigger problem than the fear of being persecuted When the US supreme court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage last year, the… Read more »

Dispatches: No ‘Honor’ in Murder in Pakistan

They planned to shoot 19-year-old Saba Qaiser in the head, put her body in a bag, and dump it in the river. It’s pure luck that they didn’t succeed. Saba was wounded but not dead, and managed to drag herself out of the river. Her attackers? Her father and her uncle, who sought revenge on… Read more »

Officially Recognized But Publicly Shamed: Transgender Life in Pakistan

One Friday night earlier this year, a nervous but meticulously made-up crowd of transgender women sat in the upper circle of the smart Al Hamra Arts complex in Lahore, Pakistan. Bored with waiting for the performance to begin, one and then all of them stood up to take in a better view of the surroundings.… Read more »

Transgender sweetness beats Muslim intolerance

By day they wear normal workers’ uniforms. At night they dress up in lipstick, stilettos and bright clothes. This is daily life for thousands of transvestites and transgender people in Pakistan. But they’re a minority that conservative Muslims find it hard to tolerate. The rest of Pakistan’s population, however, seek them out for their own… Read more »

Neglected No Longer: The Men who have Sex with Men and Transgender Community in Pakistan

This film captures the efforts of Naz Male Health Alliance, under the Multi-Country South Asia (MSA) Global Fund HIV Program, to reach traditionally neglected key populations of men who have sex with men and transgender people in Pakistan with needed HIV treatment, care and support services: Neglected No Longer: The Men who have Sex with… Read more »

Gay Pakistan: Lesbians’ lives on the line

For a woman from a low-income, conservative background in rural Pakistan, Azra Ahmed had built a potentially hot career. But then it went right off the boil. Ms Ahmed, 29, is in a lesbian relationship – and in a country where homophobia has wide social and religious sanction, that may not help your job prospects.… Read more »

That Gay Guy: M.A.H talks gay life in Lahore, Pakistan

I am so Mega Excited to introduce this new feature on my blog: That Gay Guy. Instead of focusing on my own travels and gay experiences, I am going to open things up and interview gay guys from all different parts of the world. I’ve already felt enlightened and educated by a couple of the… Read more »

Ant-gay Pakistan gets its first LGBTI themed book for children

Canada – A Toronto-based Pakistani author has written an LGBTI themed book for children in the hope that it will teach tolerance and further equality in Pakistan where same-sex relations are illegal. The book “My Chacha is gay” is billed as the first ever resource designed to teach Pakistani young people about different family arrangements.… Read more »

Being gay in Pakistan: Where anti-gay serial killers are applauded

A recent case offers fresh cause for concern for the LGBT community. Lahore, Pakistan — Sitting at a coffee shop in a posh Lahore neighborhood, two young men hold a heated debate over the serial killer caught killing gay men in their city last month. “Gay rights are human rights,” says one, arguing that gays… Read more »

Pakistan’s Gay Community Quietly Breaking Barriers

Actor Assad Khan is part of a generation of young men breaking barriers for gays in conservative Pakistan, where homosexuality is punished by prison or worse. Assad Khan knew he was different from a very young age. As a child at home he preferred playing with his two sisters rather than his two brothers. At… Read more »

Queer Pakistani Website Banned By Authorities In Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) banned an online initiative for LGBT community in Pakistan by the name of QueerPk. The website, launched in July 2013, aimed to extend online support for the LGBT community, and has been in the media since then. “No one can squeeze space for us. We are ready for a long cyber… Read more »

Pakistan’s gays show cyber pride

The country’s almost invisible LGBT community has launched a pioneering website in a hostile internet environment. Karachi, Pakistan – Pakistan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has launched a website in a hostile cyberspace in which the government blocks thousands of sites for displaying “objectionable and offensive” material. “Queer Pakistan”, launched last month, aims… Read more »

Despite strong intolerance of gays, Pakistan leads in world for gay porn searches

Despite being strongly intolerant of gay and lesbian people, Pakistan leads in the world for the most Google searches for gay porn, according to a recent analysis of search terms. The analysis, posted by Mother Jones, found that Pakistan was the world leader in searches for the terms “teen anal sex”, “man fucking man”, and… Read more »

Pakistan internet users top Google searches for gay sex despite being one of the world’s most homophobic countries

Survey shows only 2 per cent think society should accept homosexuality Google gives Pakistan a 100 rating in trends analysis of internet searches Pakistan has the highest volume of internet searches for gay pornography despite being one of the least tolerant countries when it comes to homosexuality. The most searches for terms related to same-sex… Read more »

Pakistani lesbian couple marry in U.K. defying threats

On a day that a French lesbian love story won the top award at Cannes, two young lesbians from Pakistan became the first Muslim women in Britain to marry in a civil ceremony in what the gay community hailed as a “landmark” event. Rehana Kausar (34) and Sobia Kamar (29) said they decided to go… Read more »