Hailing from the Khajori area of the Bara Tehsil in Khyber Agency, Shaheen’s family is needy enough to require charity for day to day sustenance. Her family, which comprises her mother, 12-year-old brother, and a father whose whereabouts have been unknown for the past eight years.
Neither here nor there
Shaheen insists on being identified as male and not a transgender. Shy and reclusive, the troubled teenager says, “I have spent all my life behind closed doors, and now I cannot face people outside. I have always dressed as a girl because my mother considered me one,” says Shaheen. “Whenever I try to mingle with women, they tell me that I am a male. But men say I am a female,” added Shaheen.
The defining surgery
Doctors in Peshawar have prescribed a sex change operation for Shaheen which will cost Rs 80,000. Owing to this exorbitant sum, Shaheen continues to dwell in the demonised ‘middle’. Shaheen says that the surgery costs can hardly be borne by a poor family – particularly one which does not have a male bread winner.
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