Mehrub Moiz reacts to Maria B’s public hate for her

Shanzay Salman

Shanzay Salman

Features Editor

After high-end designer Maria B. publicly supported International School Lahore on their decision to bar trans activist Dr Mehrub Moiz from speaking at TEDx ISL- Mehrub responds to the designer’s public comments.

It started when Mehrub Moiz posted about being barred from TEDx ISL where she was all set to deliver a talk on ‘the racist colonial legacy of transphobia in Pakistan’ without any explanation or any ‘objections to the talk, , just flat out refusal because “parents ko aitraaz hai k koi transgender talk day”‘.

Mehrub wrote “My talk wasn’t about me – it was about the racist colonial legacy of transphobia in Pakistan”, questioning why a transgender person was removed abjectly for being transgender while nothing about the talk was contrary to any TEDx guidelines.

Meanwhile, Maria B. also took to her social media publicly congratulating ISL on their decision along with a discussion on what transgender actually entails and who all and who all does not-fall under it arguing that there is a difference between hermaphrodite persons and transgender persons- and therefore the law does not protect the likes of Mehrub Moiz.

The question then arises that who gets to decide who is trans and who is not? Do we hold the authority to undermine somebody else’s experience of their own identity and self-hood and tell them what their gender should or should not be? Let’s suppose, our personal beliefs are different from theirs- and we come down to different ideas of what ‘trans’ really entails but even then aren’t compassion and kindness central tenets of any religion? Is it fair then, to publicly target and condemn minority communities that are already made the butt of all discrimination and hatred in our society? Sure, these conversations are important but is there really no other way- more gentle and kinder and perhaps a little more private also- to address such issues as individuals and as a society? These are all questions- not only for the designer in question but for all of us as a community!

Here are some of the tweets we found to be very insightful on the matter.

For trans people its not just another topic for discussion or simply ‘gender discourse’. It is their lived reality: something they experience on the everyday. Perhaps others need to stop telling them what they are, can and cannot be!

Religious and personal beliefs will always differ. There will be scores of Muslims who might find Mariya B’s designs to be highly offensive to their religious beliefs or their understanding of how a woman should or should not dress. But public bashing is never a way to address anything!