A Pakistani news channel has hired the country’s first transgender TV newsreader.
Marvia Malik anchored her first show on private broadcaster Kohenoor on Friday local time, after three months of training.
She told the BBC she was moved to tears when she was offered the job.
“The dream that I saw for myself, I was able to climb on the first stair to achieving it,” she said.
LGBT people face discrimination in Pakistan, and many struggle to find employment.
Some are forced into begging, dancing or prostitution to earn money, the BBC reports.
Ms Malik, a journalism graduate who also worked as a model, said she hoped her work would improve the lives of Pakistan’s transgender community.
— Ali Arif SamaaTv (@i_aliarif) March 24, 2018
“Our community should be treated equally and there must not be any gender discrimination,” she said.
“We should be given equal rights and be considered ordinary citizens, instead of third-gender.
“It’s the age of social media and there’s nothing that my family doesn’t know. But they have still disowned me.”
The owner of Kohenoor, Junaid Ansari, told VOA news Ms Malik had been selected on merit, not on gender issues.
“The thought of challenging the social norms or breaking taboos did not even come to my mind,” he said.
Ms Malik has gained attention on social media since she was seen on Kohenoor News, with many posting in support of her “shattering the glass ceiling”.
“Visibility is powerful,” tweeted one user.
Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Senate voted to support a bill protecting the rights of transgender people, and allowing people to determine their own gender identity.
There’s nothing #transgender people can’t do; we’re educated, have degrees, but no opportunities, no encouragement. I want to change this: Marvia Malik, #Pakistan's first transgender news anchor. She's also done modelling. Go girl! 💪 https://t.co/y5Df7AHfkc pic.twitter.com/YSA0jYdIIL
— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) March 25, 2018
— Nida F (@nidaFsameer) March 25, 2018
— Chloé Duretête (@ChloeDuretete) March 26, 2018