hina / ali

“i have come here after fighting years and years of hate”

When most people meet me over coffee, I appear to them like any other young enterprising guy who has built his own Film studio from scratch at the age of twenty-one years old. Someone who has worked hard to secure a strong client base, trained over fifty young people in producing digital content through his Platform. Someone who has lots of friends and a family around like any other Pakistani guy.

They are impressed, shake my hand, fight over the bill with me, and continue their day. But there’s another side to me that ninety percent of people don’t know and may never get to know. I have been struggling to make sense of who I am since I became a part of this world. Maybe I have already gotten to know myself, but how do I explain this to the ones I love? How do I tell the people that make my world go round, what I want, who I am, and where I belong?

Maybe one day I will light the world like a firefly in dark, deserted lands where the scared and forgotten hide. Where the ashes of their burned souls are hidden. This is not just about one fine day. The day when I opened my eyes and discovered that I was a woman.

But is that even possible? The voices in my head say “No.” Those of my heart have always said “Yes!” This is what I’ve always believed. I have seen how the rays of light were shut out before they could even light up this world. The only thought that helps me through this ordeal is that people like me are indeed coming out of the dark – slowly, and gradually they’re becoming more visible.

I remember those childhood days when I used to play with dolls together with my sisters. I loved how they used to lovingly call me “guriya” (which means doll). But as the time passed, they forgot, and left me lonely in my own existence.

One night, I considered sharing it all with my parents in the hopes of freeing myself of this burden. “Yes! I am a woman, who is imprisoned in her own body, and I can’t live like this anymore! Your love and acceptance are all I need.” But I was silenced, and my wishes were buried deep amongst thousands of others. I wonder what it would have been like if they accepted the real me. Could I have contributed to society?

I have come here to Germany after fighting years and years of hate. I always envy those who are loved and accepted for who they are. Like everyone else, I deserve these loving emotions. They were the right I was never given, the right brutally snatched away from me. But rising above it all, today I am able to work in this society for my people. And I will continue to do so. We are changing the mindset – the one that has always haunted us.

Will my henna show its brightness when I join the other colors and blend myself into a delightful, intricate array of patterns? I am proud of myself for having dealt with the voices. I have let them rise so that their shadows have made place for more light. I dream of the day when I can finally be who I am destined to be, when I become the person, I have always been deep down.

When I shine, and glow, like a firefly that brightens up the dark skies.

Hina ist eine Transgenderfrau, welche in ihrer Heimat Pakistan aufgrund der Gesetzeslage nur als Ali leben darf. Wir haben Hina in Köln kennengelernt, als sie ein Praktikum beim LSVD gemacht hat.