"I always used to be asked about my gender."
Shyraa Roy, who is the first Miss Trans Pakistan, will be making her acting debut in the psychological thriller Sanak.
She will also produce the film.
In an interview Shyraa Roy admitted that starting her acting career as a transgender woman in Pakistan was very challenging, loaded with threats and trauma.
She said: “For a trans woman, it’s easier to become a model than an actor or producer, especially if she has a feminine figure, however, the film industry is a completely different ballgame.
“When I started to produce films, I struggled to find sponsors and often relied on my own money.
“Honestly, it wasn’t an easy job as everyone in the industry is hell-bent on pushing you down.”
She highlighted how with every new step in her career, life became much tougher.
“Men couldn’t digest that a trans woman was trying to become a producer!
“I still remember standing in queues for hours, with so many rejected presentations; modelling was much simpler as I was only required to pose for the camera.”
Shyraa also discussed her struggle to get roles in Pakistani films and dramas.
She revealed: “When I started my role as a mainstream artist, I always used to be asked about my gender.
“The casting directors often questioned, ‘Should we give you the role of a man or woman?’
“And I answered a woman, of course but unfortunately, they never quite understood this concept.”
According to the model, Sanak is much more than just a compelling story of “obsession and love.”
Shyraa believes the story is original and urges people to see the film once it has been released.
Explaining the story, she said:
“The film is about a fanatic named Zafar Minhas who would do anything to acquire his love’s attention, who is a popular actor called Samaira Khan.
“Although he’s one amongst millions of fans, what makes him special is his fixation on the star which drives him to do anything to have her, even kill people.”
Shyraa Roy discussed her plans to keep fighting for television representation.
“The opportunities for transwomen in Pakistan are limited, either you can become a producer, rub shoulders with someone or find an investor.
“The other way is to rely on luck which works only on a blue moon as it did with Joyland‘s leading actor, Alina Khan.”
“I feel like being trans will remain taboo here and won’t change.
“Yes, in Hollywood, we can go and work, but in Pakistan, there is no room for alterations.”