In recent years, Pakistan has been terribly hit by terrorism and this has affected life of ordinary people, especially the LGBTQI community. There is a huge hidden gay and lesbian society and dating sites in every major city of Pakistan, but because of lack of rules and regulations everyone’s life is at stake.
My motive is to spread the message to the world that Islam itself is a religion of peace, and this has to be conveyed to every Muslim instead of every Non-Muslim.
Wajahat Abbas Kazmi
This documentary film aims to highlight the current situation of LGBTQI people living in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Interviewing Muslim lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, we will help them raise their voice all over the world. The world will get to see their everyday life and how they are treated by the society, also exploring what Islam says about homosexuality and what are the rights of LGBTQI people, if any.
We will show public opinion about LGBTQI people in Pakistan. We will meet some homosexual couples and even their parents. Moreover, we will interview locally famous journalists and human rights activists about legal rights of LGBTQI community in Pakistan.
We will follow the life of transgenders, from those who are working as sex workers to those who are fighting for HIV awareness in trans community, interviewing HIV patients and talking to their doctors about problems they are facing during treatment. Finally, we will interview intersex persons and some of those who just had recently successfully changed their sex through sex reassignment surgery.
Overview of situation for LGBTQI in Pakistan
Unfortunately, Pakistan is one of the few countries that have remained strong on their stance to not only ignore the rights of the LGBTQI community but to ensure that members of this community are punished for their “unnatural offences.”
Being a country where holding hands with a member of the opposite sex is frowned upon while hugging and cuddling with members of the same sex is a social norm, it does seem like Pakistan’s LGBTQI community faces no problems at all. However, this is not the case.
Society’s intolerance towards homosexuality has the effect that the LGBTQI community is deprived of all its rights – members of the community are made eligible for punishments which include imprisonment for up to ten years.
Society blames these individuals to have “chosen the wrong path” as a result of which they deserve to be punished. What we fail to understand is that sexuality is not a choice.
Just in the year 2015 several trans women lost their lives because of transphobia and countless gay men were raped in Pakistan. Lesbian women in Pakistan are threatened with corrective rape and many are forced to marry a man against their will. Unless society starts accepting the LGBT community as a part of itself, senseless atrocities will continue to be committed against them.
WAJAHAT ABBAS KAZMI (DIRECTOR – PRODUCER)
Amnesty International’s Human Rights activist and an independent film maker. He was born in Pakistan and raised in Italy. He completed his studies at Piero Sraffa College, Brescia.
While he kept writing articles for popular newspapers and magazines, he had passion to write films on social issues to develop awareness in public, so he moved back to his motherland Pakistan in 2009 and his debut project as writer/producer was the feature film THE DUSK (2011) which raised controversy for discussing issue of missing people in Pakistan.
He also produced short films like THE BLUE VEINS (2011), MESSAGE FOR GOD (2012). In 2014 he produced the film FATWA – THE FINAL VERDICT to highlight the reasons of increasing religious terrorism all over the world and especially in Pakistan.
PIER CESARE NOTARO (CO- PRODUCER, PRODUCTION HEAD)
Born in Milan, PhD in political science, he is an activist for LGBTQI and migrant people
since 2001. In 2011 he founded the website “Il Grande Colibrì” about the situation of sexual minorities especially in the southern world and launched the “Homosexual Muslims in Italy” project to combat discrimination on sexual and religious basis. He was one of three international facilitators at the last CALEM (Confederation of LGBT, Euro-African or Muslim Associations) conference and works with activists in Italy and abroad, especially in the Arab-Muslim world.
ZEESHAN KAZMI (WRITER)
Zeeshan Kazmi was born in 1985 and grew up in Lahore, Pakistan. His interest in literature and visual arts driven him towards cinema. He has been working on miscellaneous projects from a decade and his work is known for being sociopolitical in nature.