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Meet Marvia Malik, Pakistan’s first ever trans news anchor

Lahore: On Pakistan Day, 2018 Pakistan created history yet again by airing its first ever trans news anchor, Marvia Malik.

The 21-year-old who was abandoned by her family at a very young age decided to write her own fate at that very moment.

She knew she had to do something for her community. Marvia graduated with a degree in journalism from Punjab University but nothing came easy.

While speaking to ARY News, she said, “I wanted to do something for my transgender community, wanted to move forward, like we are not accepted in our homes, the same way we are not accepted in society. I had to struggle a lot and get ridiculed by students, society but I kept moving forward. A transgender person’s life is struggle on an everyday basis, now we have gotten used to it. We have to face it, fight for our rights.”

Having studied journalism and civics, Marvia didn’t want to miss the opportunity of applying in a private news channel when it advertised for job openings.

“When I got to know that Kohenoor is about to re-launch and they need anchors and other staff members, I thought I should apply. When I went for the interview there were quite a lot of people; both male and female. When everybody’s interview was done, they called me inside and said, we welcome you on board and we will train you,” said Marvia.

“They supported me a lot they trained me and I came on air on March 23,” Marvia added.

However, from this point onwards, Marvia believes her journey has just started, “I want to do something for my community because if you see my community is still dancing and earning; the society doesn’t give it much opportunities so they are stuck in a vicious circle.”

Marvia is of the opinion that if Pakistan as a society is able to change its mindset, it can bring about unbelievable change, “It has been so many years that Pakistan has gained independence but our ancestors who were transgenders have struggled so much. After so many years of struggle all they have been able to achieve is just a simple ID card. So to gain our most basic of rights will we have to fight these many years only? For example, property rights, the right to be called a normal civilian, the right to be accepted in the society, homes, the right to live respectfully, to earn. Will these many years be taken for each right of ours? Why is all of this not happening altogether? Only if we are able to change the thinking of our society, it won’t be long that any transgender person will become a doctor, engineer or a member of our civic society.”

But she is hopeful of a brighter future for her transgender community, “I feel that in the coming years you won’t see transgender people begging on the streets, you will see them earning a living respectfully.”

Pakistan’s Senate recently voted to allow transgender people to determine their own gender identity.

 

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