Pakistan transgenders pin hopes on new rights
It is where we find "Shehzadi" getting ready for work.
Wearing a bright yellow dress, and scrabbling around her make-up box, she is doing her best to cover up her decidedly masculine features.
Shehzadi is transgendered: physically male, but psychologically female.
"When I was about six or seven, I realised I wasn't either a boy or a girl," Shehzadi says.
"I was miserable because I didn't understand why I was different. It was only when I met another 'she-male' that I felt peace in my heart and my mind."
Like so many other of the estimated 50,000 transgenders in Pakistan, Shehzadi left home as a teenager, to live with others from the same community.
"I'm happy being with other transgenders, but there are many problems," Shehzadi says. "People don't understand, and they abuse us. It's hard to get somewhere to live, or even to move about normally. I get teased when I stand and wait for a bus."
Separate identity Shehzadi also shows us her ID card. She is unhappy that it says "male."
But this is something that should soon change.
Remarkably for a conservative country like this, Pakistan is about to introduce a third gender category on its national identity cards.
End Quote Brigadier Ehsan ul HaqTransgenders wanted recognition for their community. Why not reflect them as having a separate identity ”
Brigadier Ehsan says that to his knowledge there has been no opposition to the ruling, either within the registration authority or outside it.
"I personally feel it is a good decision by our highest court," he says. "Transgenders wanted recognition for their community. Why not reflect them as having a separate identity if it is biologically so?" Continued