Despite knowing the facts about the transgender community, Pakistani society and culture surprise them at so many levels. A decade ago, transgender people could be seen only at traffic signals or begging somewhere, which builds a narrative in society. To change this narrative, the only way was to prove themselves as a big part of this culture. Paroo Khanzadi is one of those brave personalities who decided to make their submissive identity in this hypocritical society and also became successful in this cause.
Paroo Khanzadi is a professional dancer, model, and actor from Sargodha, Punjab. The journey of identification of uniqueness and coping with society and culture is the same for every transgender person all over Pakistan. Paroo Khanzadi is also one of them, who went through every possible worst situation and behaviour from her family and friends but now she is a top dancer and recognised all over Pakistan having a massive fan following. Artists like Paroo Khanzadi are keeping alive the traditional culture of dance at weddings and other celebrations in Punjab. The culture, which is neglected due to the involvement of the transgender community in this, now has a good point of view because of these positive-minded and talented transgender people.
Paroo Khanzadi recognised her passion for dance in 2011 when she used to show her dancing artistry at local functions and weddings. She was doing all this alone without any guidance or assistance from anyone else. On her way to exploring an artistic dancer in her, she started finding new ways in the industry to make her presence reach a maximum number of people out there. Paroo Khanzadi knew what to do to get what she wanted. She bought a mobile with her earnings from small events and recorded 1-2. Then contacted a YouTube studio and got them published. Due to her artistic way of dancing, those videos went viral within a few days, getting a massive fan following for Paroo Khanzadi and the YouTube studio owner himself. It was the basic start of her journey, and after that, she kept opening more ways to her success by working with big names in the industry. She acted as a model and dancer in many songs of Mazhar Rahi, Aoun Abbas, and Zakir Sheikh, and the list continued. The journey might sound long, but it was worth it. Paroo Khanzadi went from a fewer audience to an audience of millions.
Trans community, after decades of mistreatment, finally gets the recognition they deserve. This is due to education. Indeed, the community has learned the way to stand out in a place where they’re fewer in number. We can see many transgender activists in Pakistan, a separate school for their education, and transgender people going to work internationally. It is not wrong to say that social media has played a huge role in getting the respect and appreciation trans people deserve. Paroo Khanzadi also found her fans following through TikTok connecting three million followers with her, which gave her more confidence and made her believe in herself. Social media made her realise that her identity is unique and that he is a soulful artist and the finest dancer before any other recognition. Transgender people can do more seamlessly in the entertainment and fashion industry than anyone else. They can make Pakistan proud nationally and internationally if they’re given opportunities in every domain.
The writer is a freelance contributor