Marvia Malik

In a historic push for LGBTQI+ rights, Pakistan just witnessed its first-ever transgender news anchor make an appearance on private television.

Marvia Malik, a 21-year-old journalist, made her first on-air appearance on March 23, according to CNN. 

She has since made international headlines for being the country's first-ever transgender woman to broadcast the news.

Malik, a trainee anchor at Lahore-based channel Kohenoor News, told CNN she had applied for the position to prove that people from the transgender community "are capable of any job, and can do anything they want." 

"I want to show the country that we are more than objects of ridicule ... that we are also human," she said, according to CNN.

Junaid Ansari, the owner of Kohenoor, told VOA News that Malik had been "selected on merit, not on gender issues."

In an interview with VOA News, Malik explained that her journey in pursuing her journalism degree has not been an easy one.

"In a country such as Pakistan, it is common to mock transgender people, who are expected to earn their livelihood mainly by dancing, begging or working in the sex trade," she said.

"Like other trans people, I did not get any support from my family. On my own, I did some menial jobs and continued my studies. I had always wanted to be a news anchor, and my dream came true when I got selected."

According to Pakistan's 2017 census, there is an estimated 10,000 individuals who identify as transgender, the first time the transgender community was included in the country's national census.

Earlier this month, Pakistan's Senate passed a bill to protect transgender people, guaranteeing individuals the right to determine their own gender identity.

The internet was beyond proud of Pakistan

"Mashallah great move"

"Go Girl"

"This is something great"


"Visibility is powerful"

"So thrilled to witness a more mature, tolerant Pakistan"

This happened just days after Malik became the first transgender model to appear on the runway at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council

Before venturing into the world of journalism, Malik had a modeling career in Pakistan. 

Earlier this month, she became the first transgender model to walk the runway during the Pakistan Annual Fashion Design Council.

"I got a lot of appreciation from those associated with the fashion industry when I did catwalk modeling two weeks back, and now this … it's quite overwhelming," she told Reuters.