The first transgender news anchor in Bangladesh made her debut on a private local news channel on March 8, International Women’s Day.
LGBTQ rights activist Tashnuva Anan Shishir became the first transgender television news presenter in Bangladesh after delivering a three-minute news bulletin on Boishakhi TV.
Boishakhi TV Spokesperson Julfikar Ali Manik called Shishir’s debut a “historic step.”
Manik said that despite the risk of criticism from some viewers in the conservative South Asian country, the channel wanted Shishir to deliver the news bulletin.
Shishir, who previously worked with non-governmental organizations that support transgender people, told AFP News that she auditioned for other channels but Boishakhi TV was the only channel that was “brave enough to take me in.”
After being selected, Shishir received training for several weeks from the channel.
According to government estimates, 11,500 transgender people live in Bangladesh, which has a population of around 160 million.
Transgender people in Bangladesh often face discrimination and struggle to find jobs due to often not having proper education, forcing them to live in poverty, LGBTQ+ rights activists claim.
Shishir also told AFP News that she does not want any members of the transgender community “to suffer.”
“I don’t want them to live a miserable life. I hope they will find work according to their skills,” Shishir said.
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