Sarah Gill becomes the first Pakistani transgender to do MBBS and get a house job at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC). The transgender activist and now a doctor is the pride of the transgender community and the whole nation.
Getting initial education from PAF school and Bahria College, the journey was not very easy for her. She has fought the stereotypes until she made her family, community, and the nation proud of her. ‘I am the first one to become a doctor but certainly not the last one from my community,’ she said in an interview.
The Pakistani transgender community is not only neglected but also stereotyped. They are ill-treated and forced into the professions that are demeaned in society. But the scenario is changing. Sarah Gill is the ray of hope for the community. Her growth and passion show that our society can become more inclusive where no one is judged on the basis of their gender identity. Dr. Gill talking about transgenders’ status in society said, ‘the trans community is changing gradually. They are more inclined towards getting education and respectable jobs. But the attitude of society must also change.’
Sarah fought many challenges on her way to this success. She had to leave home at 14 years because she could not claim her femininity by being with her parents. She was registered as a boy by her parents because they wanted to hide her gender identity. ‘When a transgender is born, the family registers them with a male name to hide their identity from the society. So, I was identified with a male name during my school and intermediate education. But my capabilities cannot be judged by my name or how I dress,’ she said in her interview.
Like most other transgenders, Sarah did not have support from her parents throughout her education. ‘Till my schooling and intermediate, my parents were very supportive. But when they realized I will not keep my gender identity a secret, they withdrew their support. The behavior of the whole family was very bad but now they have somehow accepted me when I have made the whole nation proud,’ she said while talking about her journey. ‘The people who did not support me actually became my motivation to achieve something big,’ she added
Talking about her ambitions and interest in medicine, Dr. Sarah said, ‘there were a lot of things related to my health that I was unable to discuss with any doctor as a child. The doctors usually did not have the information about how to treat a transgender person and how to deal with their health issues. So, I took this decision for my community and myself.’ She further explained that there are a lot of cases where transgenders are not entertained in the hospitals in Pakistan and this was another motivation for her to study medicine. Referring to these cases, she said, ‘they were a wake-up call for me that I must do something for my community.’
Now in her 20s, she is hopeful about the future of transgenders in Pakistan. She said that her interests are in endocrinology but she will see where her community needs her the most and choose her specialization according to that. She is very passionate to work for her community. ‘They are entitled to equal educational rights and opportunities,’ said Dr. Sarah Gill who is not only the pride of the transgender community but has also made the country proud at international platforms.