One Pakistani artist is using the artform of cartoons to educate children about the transgender community in the hopes of helping them become more tolerant adults. Anain Shaikh, a design student based in Karachi, hopes to show that there's nothing to be afraid of when it comes to people who might be different than the preconceived norm.
"This story is about the transgender community of Pakistan and the myths and rumors surrounding them in the society," Shaikh, who did this for a class at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, wrote on Facebook. "How children are conditioned from a young age to think about them in a certain way and how that manifests into actual fears as adults."
The short video focuses on a little boy who is afraid to meet a guest who has arrived at his family's home and been welcomed inside. The kid goes through a list of reasons he has overheard to be fearful of this person, but eventually finds out that there was no reason to be. Transgender people are normal, just like everyone else.
Shaikh's post also shares the translated text:
1. One day a strange visitor came to my house.
2. She's the same person everyone was talking about the other day. Everyone is scared of people like her.
3. Saba Khala (Aunt) says their badh dua (curses) are very dangerous. They can curse you easily.
4. Amna Aunty says they come and kidnap you at night.
5. Even Nani Jaan (Grandmother) was saying they are not how they look like on the outside.
6. I'm really scared of going inside. I don't get why mom invited her.
7. What is this? Mano Billi (name of the cat) is playing with her as well!
8. I was getting afraid for no reason. She is nothing at all like everyone claimed.
"The reason I made this animation was because even as a kid I was exposed to a lot of what was mentioned in this video," Shaikh told Maati TV. "I think as children we listen to a lot of these myths and untruths. And when we grow up they turn into actual fears. That's why the transgender community is so targeted in our society."
Check out more of Shaikh's work on Instagram, and stay tuned as this talented designer is working on a comic book that will feature transgender characters, too.