Pakistani couple arrested for being “gay”

It seems this was picked up by some news places last week, but with more ambiguous wording – “eunuch” rather than “transsexual”. However, and I suspect largely as a result of a mostly positive and trans-friendly news piece by CNN it looks like it’s being picked up again and it came to my notice after Pink News picked it up.

I shall observe how this plays out with interest, in light of the recent Malawi incident. On the subject of Malawi, I suspect there was some agneda-pushing going on by gay-rights groups. I don’t know what the situation is in other countries, but certainly in the UK the trans aspect is often overlooked if some group (Stonewall, I’m looking at you) think they can score more political points by portraying a couple as gay rather than one of them as trans. There was a lack of newspapers-of-record actually reporting that Tiwonge is transsexual or at least regards herself as, well, herself with the only one, the New York Times, not exactly taking a particualrly trans-friendly tone. On the other hand, it’s exactly this sort of misreporting that may have gotten them out of jail – at least the new UK government seemed totally unaware that there was a transgender angle and was approaching it as purely a gay-rights issue.

Will the same international pressure and press coverage happen with Milak and Rani? Somehow, I doubt it. Admittedly, the statement that there was no wedding going on will not help in terms of campaigning internationally, but in terms of trans rights that’s not the point – regardless of what was happening they should never have been arrested, either for being gay or because one of them is transgendered. Sadly, the trans community just doesn’t have the same resources as the gay community: Big budgets, full time staff, many high-profile celebrities and the political contacts.

I live in hope, but it’s so far a folorn hope.

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