They’re afraid of joy’: Pakistan’s trans community fights hate

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10/09/2023

Clad in a Barbie-pink shalwar kameez, influencer and doctor Mehrub Moiz Awan reels off endless examples of harassment she’s received since becoming the sharp-tongued figurehead of Pakistan’s queer community. A growing and highly organised digital hate campaign driven by the religious right has put trans people at risk — both of losing their legal rights and their lives. “It became quite vicious where there were death threats against me, there were attacks on me,” Awan told AFP from a fellow activist’s crowded apartment in Pakistan’s megacity of Karachi.

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