Family acceptance and support is the biggest factor for positive LGBTQI youth outcomes. International Family Equality Day which falls on 7 May every year was celebrated in many parts of the world and this year’s motto was LOVE MAKES A FAMILY.
Only 24 countries legalize LGBT rights worldwide. With 195 countries in the world – 24 is not a substantial number. Pakistan is one of the countries out of 195 in which only 2% barely tolerate LGTQI community probably with softening words. Homosexuality is considered a taboo in conservative Pakistani society and there are laws which, although rarely enforced, render homosexual acts illegal and carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison or 100 lashes.
Family is considered to be the most beautiful supportive system in Pakistan but unfortunately when the family comes to know about their children’s sexuality or gender identity, then things become totally different. Transgender children in most instances have to leave their family home due to domestic physical and psychological violence. Whereas many young gay men pretend to live a double life and keep their sexula orientation secret in family and society. In spite of all these issues the LGBTIQ youth do exist and they have been showing visibility which is a very positive step.
As a young transgedner woman, who has lived through many of these relaities, I have been able to be out and proud with my gender idenity. With my modeling carreer I have been able to bring a different persective and an approach activism. I also intend to make a proper Rainbow Family Supportive System for the whole spectrum of LGTIQ. After all if we lose one family we all deserve another family that loves us just as much.
Kami Choudry – Pakistan
Core Working Group Member
Youth Voices Count