AAPI Convention 2022

 

We need to break out of community mafias, says Mis Trans Pakistan Shryaa Roy

“I feel beautiful, I feel special and I get more respect,” she said. “There was a time when we used to get eyed as if we were aliens but now we are beauty queens and I have [procured] the title for the first time in the history [of Pakistan] so I couldn't resist flaunting it and celebrating more.”

Apr 25, 2022
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Mis Trans Pakistan Shryaa Roy

Discrimination that trans people face in society isn’t hidden and in fact, it gets much attention nowadays. But, what still gains almost little or no attention is the problems and discrimination that trans people face from, and within, their own community. Shyraa Roy, Miss Trans Pakistan, feels that trans people need to get out of community mafias' control.

"There is a particular mafia that cannot see someone [achieve] any milestones," Shyraa, who won Miss Trans Pakistan in 2021, said, as she talked about the threats, torture, and hurdles she had faced from the community mafias, a few people who act as leaders and often set boundaries, parameters and also limitations for the community.

People, including from the community, took some time adjusting to what Shyraa achieved. Beyond the recognition, she started getting attention from the media industry. She records music, does promotional events, talks about awareness, and all that goes beyond the boundaries set by traditional mafias.

"I still remember I used to run [after the] media and bloggers to talk about my singing skills and my music but they used to neglect it. After getting the crown, my life changed overnight," she was quoted as saying by Dawn

Besides recognition that her success brought to her, there is an acceptance that nothing is off-limit just because you have a different identity,

“I feel beautiful, I feel special and I get more respect,” she said. “There was a time when we used to get eyed as if we were aliens but now we are beauty queens and I have [procured] the title for the first time in the history [of Pakistan] so I couldn't resist flaunting it and celebrating more.”

Although the society needs to make space for the community, the real empowerment for the community, she feels, requires breaking the traditional boundaries themselves. There will be hurdles for sure, and things will change slowly in the coming days.

For instance, despite winning the Miss Trans Pakistan 2021 title, Shyraa still struggles to get sponsors for events. In the modeling and beauty industry, where only a handful of trans people are making their careers, this problem is common.

Recently, she became the first Pakistani woman to be chosen to represent the country in the world's largest beauty pageant for transgender women, Miss International Queen, in Thailand. But she is likely to skip the event due to financial constraints.

(SAM)

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