Middle East

Pakistan’s first transgender anchor: ‘I struggled a lot to be accepted’

Marvia Malik is Pakistan’s first transgender news presenter. In a DW interview, Malik says she had to work hard to break taboos and finally be accepted by a society that discriminates against transgender people.

DW: Congratulations on becoming Pakistan’s first transgender news presenter. How has the news been received in Pakistan?

Marvia Malik: The response has been overwhelming and welcoming. I was expecting a normal reaction but the feedback and messages I’m getting from Pakistani viewers and people around the world are extraordinary. I am very happy to receive so much love from everyone. Many Pakistani journalists also sent me congratulatory messages.

Junaid Ansari, the owner of Kohenoor TV, said in a recent interview that the channel selected you on merit and it had nothing to do with your gender. But you obviously can’t shrug off the transgender TV presenter image. Are you comfortable with being labeled?

I have been fighting for the rights of the transgender community for a long time and I might have to live with this label. This is just a beginning. Should I be offered a government position, I am willing to take it as it will give me an opportunity to work for the welfare of my community, which faces many problems in Pakistan.

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