Trans woman and comedian, Anaya Sheikh, was harassed, insulted with abusive slurs during her performance by a Lahore-based prankster Shahrik Shah. The comedy night was arranged in Johar Town Lahore over the past weekend.
As Images reports, Anaya felt really uncomfortable when Shahrik was trying to come too close to her, but she invited him on stage. Following that, he insulted Anaya with abusive, gender-discriminatory slurs on her appearance and Feminist beliefs.
“I wore a top which said ‘We Should All Be Feminists.’ I started with jokes about women empowerment and then I replied to those jokes, which were based on trans people.”
“Then Shahrik Shah, from Lahori Prankstar, and another comedian named Usman made jokes and used the (derogatory terms) khusra and shemale while the whole audience was laughing and enjoying my performance. He came up and kept trying to come onstage,” Anaya narrated the shameful incident.
“I asked him to leave. He kept showing me his (middle) finger and I said even my fingers are not worthy of you, so he kept abusing me. I completed my performance and I was shivering when I left the stage.”
After the incident, Anaya briefly performed and then left the venue immediately. LahoriFied, the event organizers of the comedy night, have shown their deep regret for the incident and demanded an apology from Shahrik Shah and Usman.
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Important Note: LahoriFied Publicly Condemn this PATHETIC GENDER DISCRIMINATIONAL BEHAVIOR from SHARIK SHAH of LAHORI PRANKSTER (Shouldn't Have been on the Stage in the First Place)! ABUSING Someone on the Basis of their Gender is totally UNACCEPTABLE and we Apologize @annaya_shiekh that she had to face it! You Performed very well and we Enjoyed Every Piece of it! More Power To You!! . . . #lahorifiedpranks #standupcomedy #standup #standupcannabis #comedynight #comedynight #comedymemes #lahore #lahorifiedincafeyat #lahorified #cafeyat
“I love my audience but I can’t go through this stress and shame which I just faced. I have the video but I don’t have the courage to watch it, and the more I think that many people were recording [the incident], the more I feel depressed and angry. I know this will be out and I’m imagining how happy that will make transphobes,” Anaya said.
Anaya said that the incident has left her absolutely heartbroken and low on self-confidence. Following Lahorified’s apology, she said that there were people in the public who laughed at these slurs, which shows that Pakistani society still finds them as a ”joke”. She added she expected better and thought that someone would stand up for them – but no one did.
Lahori Prankstar is a channel run by Osama Khan, Asad Ramzan and Shahrik Shah. The channel uploads prank videos and have a history of posting problematic content. In countless videos, they can be seen abusing and using insulting slurs – particularly against the transgender community.
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