Pakistani transvestite eyes local poll triumph

From the Daily Times of Pakistan:

6_10_2005_untitled4Pervez Akhtar Tanoli is a candidate with a difference in Thursday’s local council elections; he’s a transvestite who rails against corruption and vows to help the poor.

Tanoli, or ‘Baby’ as he is known, is running for a seat on a council in a sub-district of Haripur.

“The constituents are my family,” Baby told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. “I have nobody else. My family abandoned me because I am a transvestite.”

The former wedding dancer in his mid-thirties is not new to local politics. He has been councilor for the town of Haripur North since 2002, winning the seat with a record number of votes.

“People have voted for me to work for their benefit, not to dance at weddings,” he says.

“The poor have suffered at the hands of politicians because they put the tax money which is meant for development into their own pockets. I don’t do that and people know this. They know I only work for the poor.”

More here.