Audiences in Pakistan witnessed history when the country’s first transgender anchored a local news channel in the country.
Marvia Malik, a former model, and Journalism graduate said that she cried when she was offered the role by a private broadcaster ‘Kohinoor’. She anchored her first show on Prime Time after three months of training on Friday.
She said “The dream that I saw for myself, I was able to climb on the first stair to achieving it.”
“Our community should be treated equally and there must not be any gender discrimination. We should be given equal rights and be considered ordinary citizens, instead of third-gender,” she added.
The LGBT community finds a lot of problems to find employment in Pakistan with many of them forced to begging, dancing, and even prostitution.
Her first broadcast received a lot of support on social media from people in Pakistan as well as from celebrities in the United States.
“My family knows I have modeled and they know I work as a newsreader,” Malik said. “It’s the age of the social media and there’s nothing that my family doesn’t know. But they still disowned me.”
The owner of the TV station, Junaid Ansari, told the media that the decision was made entirely on merit and not to make a point about breaking taboos. We had asked aspiring news presenters to come for the auditions.
According to 2017 census, there are more than 10,000 transgender people in Pakistan. Earlier this month the country’s Senate voted in support of a bill protecting the rights of transgender people, allowing them to choose their own gender identity.