Dr. Omar Kasmani

A discussion of third gender grammars and the parallel emergence of trans* in Pakistan which offers an anxious and unsettled mode of futurity. This talk explored the task of tentatively mapping an unfolding landscape in transformation; disclosing the perils as well as the promises that trans* as a language holds for third gender politics in Pakistan; and taking note, especially of its dynamics - the expansion and contraction of categories in particular situated contexts. A particularly salient subject in the light of the ongoing state institutionalization of three additional gender categories in Pakistan since 2011, and the inadvertent revitalization of queer publics. Curbing this site of futurity, however, is the issue of how contemporary trans* activism in Pakistan is particularly burdened by khwaja-sira realities and how progress is potentially courted by risks, especially, that of sanctioning a singular trans* logic. 

Dr. Omar Kasmani is post-doctoral research associate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Collaborative Research Center Affective Societies at Freie Universität, Berlin.