A transgender activist in Pakistan who was shot eight times died after hospital staff reportedly had trouble deciding whether to place her in a male or female ward.
The 23-year-old activist, who was known as Alisha, died from gunshot wounds after an attack in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on May 22. Staff at the Lady Reading Hospital where she was taken allegedly did not give her the treatment she needed, according to the Daily Mail.
In a series of Facebook posts, the Trans Action Alliance, of which Alisha was a district coordinator, updated its followers on Alisha's condition during her time at the hospital. When doctors tried to place Alisha in a female ward, other female patients protested because of Alisha being transgender.
"We really don't know what to do and where to go," said TAA on Facebook, while waiting for Alisha to receive treatment for her wounds. Around 20 minutes later, the group said Alisha's situation was critical.
"The doctors say if she survives she will have to go through several surgeries but right now they are just trying to stabilize her," the post said. "She is supposed to be in surgical ICU but there are no empty beds and so she's in an ordinary hospital ward which seems like a ward from World War One."
The group also said the male staff at the hospital harassed members for dances and sex while they tried to get Alisha proper medical treatment. "A doctor wants to know how much I charge to dance for a night and another health technician wants to know if I only dance or also perform sex," said one member of the TAA. "I mean WTF ... I am with a patient who we don't know whether or not she will survive."
Farzana Jan, a fellow activist, said that outside of the emergency room, men asked whether Alisha was HIV-positive, and asked for Jan's phone number, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The TAA estimates Pakistan has more than 500,000 transgender people. Some are able to make a living dancing at weddings and parties, where locals believe they bring good luck, but others, facing intense discrimination, turn to prostitution to survive.
"Society doesn’t accept us," said Alisha in a speech at a rally before her death. "At least we should be recognized as disabled or special persons by society."
"We are the most vulnerable segment of society but the government gives us none of the rights due to us."