A transgender has started her journey as a news anchor in Bangladesh, breaking glass ceilings. On March 8, International Women’s Day, 29-year-old Tashnuva Anan Shishir debuted on air, presenting a late afternoon news bulletin for a private news channel.
Shishir, Bangladesh’s first transgender news anchor, went live for a Bengali news channel, Boishakhi News, to present their 4 PM news bulletin. She said on air: “This could be revolutionary and create a new dimension in people’s thinking.”
Shishir bagged the job in a recent audition. After weeks of intensive training at the organisation, she finally began her new journey, The Indian Express reported.
Shirshir, who was nervous ahead of appearing on screen, broke into tears after the three-minute broadcast ended.
“I tried to think of stage dramas I have performed in and follow techniques I have learned there. But I was shaking inside,” AFP quoted her as saying.
As the bulletin ended, Shishir was applauded and cheered by her colleagues. When she bust out in tears, she was showered with warm hugs and word of comfort.
“I hope that this will bring greater acceptance and change the way people view the transgender community,” Boishakhi TV’s chief editor, Tipu Alam was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Shishir had been “sexually abused, bullied and tortured” as she grew up. She left home aged 16, but managed to continue her studies. She recently received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s in public health at a top local university, DW Bangla reported.
Tashnuva Anan Shishir has become Bangladesh's first transgender news anchor.
Apart from TV, she's also studying for a Master's degree in public health. pic.twitter.com/oaPbdgN1Ik
— DW News (@dwnews) March 10, 2021
Shishir appreciated Boishakhi TV for taking a ‘brave’ step towards inclusivity, saying: “There are thousands of ‘Shishir’ waiting for an opportunity to shine. I hope that this will make their journey easier”.
However, besides Shishir, a Coimbatore-based transgender in 2014 became the first transgender news anchor in India for a private Tamil satellite channel in Tamil Nadu.
Pakistan in 2018 got its first transgender anchor for private TV channel Kohenoor News.