Trying to overcome years of social expulsion against them, Christian trans people in Pakistan decided to start their own church, one that provides them with a safe space they can't find easily anywhere else.
Pakistan’s Christian transgender people, often mocked, abused and bullied, say they have found peace and a refuge in the country’s first church dedicated to them. By @Kathygannon https://t.co/pzvCli4VbU— AP Middle East (@APMiddleEast) November 25, 2020
Attending their bible study, AP's Senior correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan watched the congregation as they met, sang, and found peace in the city of Karachi.
In her report, Kathy Gannon cites the church’s pastor and co-founder Ghazala Shafique who explained the name of the Church referring to a verse from the bible, saying eunuchs are favored by God."
The church, called the First Church of Eunuchs, is the only one for transgender #Christians in #Pakistan. “Eunuch” is a term often used for transgender women in South Asia, though some consider it derogatory. pic.twitter.com/hErQrMn8de— Andrea Rose (@Andyrockz2012) November 26, 2020
The report also highlights the different realities that trans people, especially trans women go through, starting from bullying and beating, to not being fully accepted by churches run by Cis people, which is why they decided it was time for their own.
After the AP story, news of the trans church was widely shared online, mostly as people celebrated the initiative and saluted its members, and hoped that other members of the LGBTQ+ community find their own of spaces in countries they are still largely being disregarded.
While Pakistan is considered amongst the most conservative nations in Southeast Asia, minorities often report difficulties adjusting to social norms that are usually in favor of the majority, which is neither Christian nor LGBT+ in this case, which forces the country's "eunuchs" to face a challenge twice as hard as their fellow citizens.
Such a wonderful story - at last, they have place, now.— Veengas (@VeengasJ) November 25, 2020
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