Dear Maria B, your ill-informed views on the transgender rights law are not ‘educating’ anyone

Designer Maria B has shared a video of her and her sisters talking about the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018. Last month, she clashed horns with transgender rights activist Dr Mehrub Moiz Awan after the academic was excluded from a TEDxISL (International School Lahore) panel.

transgender rights law


Designer Maria Butt misidentified Caitlyn Jenner as the ‘most famous transgender’ person in the world. Butt shared a video of herself and her sisters Najia and Aafia talking about the law. She said it’s a “hot topic” that they want to discuss considering that it will affect their children.

She says there is a massive difference between being intersex and being transgender. The act was made for the khwaja sira community, who are intersex, she says.

The chairman of the Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) has expressed concern over the Transgender Rights Act in Pakistan. The act provides legal recognition to transgender persons, enshrining their rights to education, basic health facilities, and the right to affirm their transgender identity on ID cards and passports.

Maria B has been named as the unasked for champion of the khwaja sira community, which is a sub-sect of the transgender community in India. This is a debate that does not need to be had by Maria B, a woman who has 369,000 followers on Instagram but no expertise in this matter.

Is it a saviour complex for Maria B and her sisters to feel the need to speak out against what they see as an attack on their community? Is it that seeing other people get basic liberties is offensive to them in some way? Do they have a ‘saviour complex’ which has them speaking about a community they are not part of?

You can speak up about those who have been marginalised, but don’t speak for them. In a society where there is a lack of understanding and empathy for this community, don’t give your two cents on how a person can prove they are a ‘real’ transgender or khwaja sira. Let people far more learned than you talk about this so that they can actually “educate” people.

One of Maria’s sisters argued for DNA tests to prove if someone was khwaja sira, transgender or cisgender. The other argued about the merits of the law when it has no “verses from the Quran and Hadith” in it.

“Remember this before you weigh in on a topic this critical — this community is made fun of and ridiculed already — your flippant views and facial expressions only add to this ostracising behaviour,” an editorial from the Dawn newspaper has urged readers to think before they speak out.

see also : Amendments to transgender act sought

Editorial, Images. “Dear Maria B, Your Ill-Informed Views on the Transgender Rights Law Are Not ‘Educating’ Anyone.” Images, 26 Sept. 2022,


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