Change the Clap

Donning colorful clothes and layers of makeup, as she waits for the traffic signal to turn red and begs in the name of God, some snigger at her and ridicule her because of the way she claps while some are kind enough to spare her a few coins in return for blessings.

This is not merely one story but the plight of transgender community in Pakistan who are marginalized and deprived of their rights. The loosely estimated 80,000 to 300,000 transgender are still struggling for inclusion in society and their struggle will continue for decades. Despite Supreme Court rulings in 2009 and 2012 affirming their status as ‘equal citizens of the state’, they are treated as children of a lesser God in Pakistan and some third world countries.

In an attempt to empower trans community and end transphobia, Asia Pacific Transgender Network initiated a campaign with the hashtag, Change the Clap. It gives us a much needed reminder about acceptance and changing our mindsets.

The one and a half minute video sheds light on how transgenders are called out names, beaten up, assaulted, made fun of and treated as sex objects. When the transgender model Kami Sid is made fun of as she walks on the ramp, she calls out people to change their mindsets and the clap will change too. Other notable transgenders including Neeli Rana, Mani AQ, Irha Pareshei are shown in the video pressing for transgender empowerment.

Many Pakistani celebrities and people from different walks of life took to social media to support this campaign which aims to brilliantly change the ‘ridicule into applause’. Here is what celebrities have to say:

Osman Khalid Butt

I grew up in a society where the very term ‘hijra’ was (and still is) used mockingly to question masculinity; where the transgender community was seen as freaks of nature: to be indulged for a quick, nasty laugh; paraded, perhaps at weddings for entertainment.. but never respected.. never seen as human. No. This cannot continue. It’s time we change ridicule into applause. It’s time we show the transgender community they are not children of a lesser God. Change your mindset.

Maheen Kardar Ali

No matter how different someone is, they deserve respect and equality.

Asim Azhar

Majority of the Trans people do not have access to education and jobs and are reduced to low level work only to be publicly ridiculed. It is high time we turn ridicule to applause; it’s time to #ChangeTheClap

Ahmed Ali Butt

A clap to seek forgiveness, appreciate and applaud the transgender community for simply being themselves. You have our full support #ChangeTheClap

Saboor Aly

The only clap they deserve is the one that puts a smile on their face #ChangeTheClap

Frieha Altaf

People are people. Race,Gender,Color! Respect,equality,freedom! Bring change! Love humans.

Hussain Rehar

Change the mindset.. Clap will too!

Ushna Shah

More power to the transgender community!

Anoushey Ashraf

Some people are born in their bodies while some have to fight for it. The least we can do is support them.

Juggun Kazim

What might look like a small change in behavior to you would mean the world to the transgender community.

Ayesha Omar

Change the way you deal with transgender people on a daily basis. Change the way you laugh or snigger at them on the roads. Change the way you think.

Munib Nawaz

#ChangeTheClap to #changethemindset it’s time we stop the ridicule and mockery.

This video is a much needed reminder to look beyond ridicule. It’s high time we as a society accept transgenders as an integral part of our society, empathize with them and push for acceptance to begin with.

Be a part of the change. It’s time to Change the Clap.