LAHORE: A group of transgender people protested outside the health secretariat, alleging that the Okara District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital misreported the gender of a male community member, Husnain Ali, due to his refusal to bribe the hospital staff.

They were denied access to the health secretary, despite their hours-long wait outside the secretariat for many hours.

They alleged that Husnain, also known as Naghina Chaudhry, a stage dancer, was declared female in the medical examination reports by the Okara DHQ Hospital, citing the ‘presence of a uterus’ as evidence. However, a medical board at the Lahore General Hospital (LGH) confirmed Husnain to be male.

Protesters demanded action against the Okara hospital management for misreporting and causing Husnain mental distress.

Hasnain told Dawn that he is the father of a three-year-old boy. He said he had always had feelings of being a female, which led him to join the transgender community and pursue a career in dance.

He said that he received an ‘X’ computerized national identity card from Nadra, indicating neither male nor female.

He said he adopted the dancing occupation, integrating into the transgender community, with his body language and movements resembling those of a female.

He said some relatives and local residents mocked him, calling him derogatory names like ‘cake’ and ‘cycle’.

He says when his son reached school age, he attempted to register him at the local union council, which required proof of his male identity due to his ‘X’ CNIC. The union council referred him to the Okara DHQ Hospital, where the staff demanded a Rs70,000 for his medical examination even though he presented them his nikahnama, wife and son. On his refusal to pay, the hospital staff conducted an ultrasound and declared him female. Later, the LGH confirmed his male identity.

Supported by his community, he decided to seek action against the DHQ Hospital staff by meeting Punjab Health Secretary Ali Jan.

Upon reaching the health secretariat, the group was denied access to the secretary and left standing outside for hours. An official later collected Hasnain’s application but did not return.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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