Mehrab Moiz Awan
Lahore , 16 ,8 , 2o22, Genuinely shaken right now because I have never faced censorship this blunt before.
I was just removed from the roster of TEDx International School Lahore as a speaker because "ap transgender hain aur kuch parents ko aitraaz hai k un k bachay aik transgender ko sunain". (You are trans and some parents don't want their children to listen to a trans person).
That's it. That's the reason. My talk was of course heavily censored by myself initially and according to the ISL administration it fits perfectly within TEDx rules and has nothing controversial and is as feel good as they want it to be, but they just can't host me anymore because they've suddenly realized that I am trans.
I've been censored before. It's not new. But this has hit an all new benchmark. This confirms what we've been saying for long. Don't let the positive news fool you; transphobia has just begun unfurling it's dirty wings in Pakistan.
There is a flat out genocide of transwomen happening in Pakistan and after weeks of preparation and planning I was asked to exit gracefully today, "because you're trans".
Meanwhile, here is a link to my talk in the comments. Read it yourself and decide. I'm releasing it publicly anyways. And I hope that the other 5 speakers show solidarity and Boycott TEDxISL.