A transgender started her journey as a news anchor in Bangladesh on International Women’s Day. Tashnuva Anan Shishir debuted on air on March 8, presenting all with late afternoon news bulletin for a private news channel. Now, the joyous feat is being celebrated by people worldwide.
Going live for a local Bengali channel, to present their 4 pm bulletin, she said on air: “This could be revolutionary and create a new dimension in people’s thinking.”
The 29-year-old was selected for the job in a recent audition, and after receiving several weeks of intensive training at the media organization, she finally started her new role, through which she hopes to foster change how the community is perceived in the country.
Ahead of going live for Monday’s historic broadcast, Shishir said she was terrified but managed to get through her presentation with much élan and poise. However, moments after the three-minute broadcast ended, she broke into tears.
“I tried to think of stage dramas I have performed in and follow techniques I have learned there. But I was shaking inside,” New agency quoted her saying. As the bulletin was over, her colleagues applauded and cheered, however, she soon burst out in tears, with them comforting her with warm hugs.
“I hope that this will bring greater acceptance and change the way people view the transgender community,” local broadcaster chief editor, Tipu Alam said.
Shishir, who had been “sexually abused, bullied and tortured” when growing up, left home aged 16, but was able to continue her studies and recently received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s in public health at a top local university, earlier this year, news broadcaster reported.
Shishir told news publisher in an interview ahead of her debut that such initiatives will enable further opportunities for people of LGBTQ community in the country where they are often bullied and mistreated. Lauding the ‘brave’ step taken by Bangla broadcaster towards their inclusivity, she added: “There are thousands of ‘Shishir’ waiting for an opportunity to shine. I hope that this will make their journey easier”.
A performer by profession, she has been modelling and acting for a long time. And not just television, Bangladesh will be seeing more of her as this year, she signed up for two films, where she will play the role of a female football coach in one, news publisher reported.