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Social Exclusion Meets Social Distancing: COVID-19 & the Rights of Transgender & Non-Binary People

*By Noor Bano Khan

 

Sitting alone in my apartment in Washington D.C., many irrational thoughts cross my mind as I navigate my way to completing assignments, papers and everyday tasks. One thought that warrants particular attention amidst all the ranting is how life as we knew it has been upended by this pandemic. The concept of social distancing is new in Pakistan and many other countries around the globe that have been affected by COVID-19. But for a certain class of people, nothing much has changed. The norm of their lifestyle has just been converted to a global norm. These people are transgenders across the world, but especially those residing in religiously conservative societies such as Pakistan.