Self-concept and identity are social products that provide answers to the basic questions “Who am I?”, “Where do I belong?” and “How do I fit in?” Gender identity is only one of many possible social identities, with each identity representing one’s relationship to a particular social category in which one has membership. To classify humans in binaries – black and white, good and bad, male and female would be objectifying the concept of the self. Yet, this very codification of binaries is what led to the death of a human. One who failed to make it to the classification of “Male” and “Female”, when in 2018, a transgender was shot in Peshawar and the hospital administration got confused weather the patient should be taken to a male ward or a female ward. The realization that one could potentially lose their life if they failed to identify their self within previously scribed notions by the society, is what inspired me to approach this topic and learn more about a trans-person’s perspective in Karachi, by conducting a series of interviews.This is the humble story of Saima, a transwoman. Through her narrative, I was attempting to understand how and to what extent the transgender community lies on the periphery in the context of gender minorities. Given that the transgender community falls disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized groups in the society, it implies that the community member under observation would be economically disadvantaged; therefore, I decided to connect with a potential participant at the Sunday Bazaar in Karachi, near Alladin Park. The first attempt was futile but a conversation with a hawker selling gol gappay confirmed that transgenders are usually roaming around the place. I finally met Saima near a food stall. At first, Saima pretended we had known each other from a past life, that she had called me, but I hadn’t picked up the phone. Then she requested for my name, claiming that she had forgotten. We both laughed and let out a sigh. When we stood in a corner, passersby would stop mid-way in curiosity. When this happened, I decided to tell them off by saying, ‘Kia dekh rahe ho bhai? [What are you looking at]’ This is when I finally gathered Saima’s trust by demonstrating that I valued our privacy. The interview began by asking biographical questions which revealed that here at Sunday Bazaar, Saima functions as a beggar to earn a living. I noticed through the language that Saima employed, ‘aap meri beti jaisi ho (you are like my daughter)’, that my gender played an immense role in breaking down the communication barriers. During and after the interview, the passers-by would gather and listen to the interview out of curiosity. The food stalls however, would not welcome Saima to sit at their table and eat, even if she paid for it. There was an inbuilt power dynamic within the bazaar, where Saima has explicitly been told which parts are accessible for her. Places had been reserved for each – the hawker, the child who sold plastic bags and beggars – each roamed within their assigned space.Throughout the conversation and given the nature of our meeting place, it was difficult to persuade Saima to reveal the power dynamics with the guru or the mere reason for her movement from Faisalabad. Whenever questioned, she would mention “Allah ka shukar hai.” [I am thankful to God] ;therefore, we then began to speak about people’s behaviour with her to which Saima informed me that people circulate useless information about them, that even “if a male is simply standing next to them, and taking duas, people would assume that we are involved in a physical relationship.” When she mentioned this, it was as if she was handing her broken heart on a palette, served with the inbuilt institutions of class and gender on the side. This demonstrated that gender does not lie in the individual but in fact the institutional structures play a critical role in shaping the ways in which gender is enacted. It was Saima whose story I had gone to the Sunday bazaar for, but as I set out to discover the market, I stumbled about another identity crisis taking birth – one that pertained to class. This was taking place at the clothes stalls nearby. I noticed that a crowd of women had flocked around a particular stall and the sellers sat comfortably, waiting for their customers to decide who will buy what. There were piles of unarranged loose cloth that women werre browsing through. Others were packed in plastic bags and kept in a corner, more awaited inside a large tote bag. Upon close inspection I noticed that these were branded lawn pieces, that the upper middle class scurry for at the plazas and shopping malls. I looked closely, there’s a kurti with Khaadi’s tag – one of Pakistan’s leading brands, being sold for half the price, another dupatta exchanged hands with a Sana Safinaz embossed on it.“Are these original?” I asked. The seller nodded confidently.“Where do you get them from?” “From the factories.” These were left over, slightly damaged or designs from an older volume. Nonetheless original.There was a cloud of curiosity looming over my head. I heard a seller chanting: “Idhar Aao, Ghareebon ka England” [Come here, this is a poor man’s England] I took to his cue. There were piles of second-hand bags lying on the floor. My eyes go towards a metal tag, embossed on it is, Louis Vuitton. Most of the customers in this flea market were Pakistan’s lower and lower middle class who can’t possibly imagine shopping at an air-conditioned shopping mall. But to be able to recognize a designer bag also comes from a place of privilege. And this honour is received by bounties of women who are unable to afford but able to recognize the mainstream brands, which if worn, would be a symbol of prestige and opulence. The beauty in Saima was her candid honesty and the courage to stand up for herself amidst the hustle bustle of this Sunday bazaar which is not ready to accept her. On the other hand, the same bazaar is serving as an outlet for the aspiring higher middle class, providing cloaks to transform their class identities – a façade, which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.The writer is a freelance student with published works in literary magazines.