To cheers from colleagues, Bangladesh’s first transgender information presenter broke down in tears on Monday, however solely after her word-perfect debut was beamed to the nation and the cameras have been off.
Bangladesh is house to an estimated 1.5 million transgender individuals, who face rampant discrimination and violence and are sometimes pressured to reside by begging, the intercourse commerce or crime.
The expertise of Tashnuva Anan Shishir, who delivered the three-minute information bulletin on the personal Boishakhi TV, was typical.
Born Kamal Hossain Shishir, she found in her early teenagers she was trapped in a person’s physique. She says she was sexually assaulted and bullied for years.
“The bullying was so insufferable I tried suicide 4 instances. My father stopped speaking to me for years,” stated Shishir, now aged 29.
“After I couldn’t deal with it any extra, I left house… I couldn’t stand the neighbours telling my father about how I ought to act or stroll in a masculine means.”
She fled her house in a southern coastal district to reside alone within the capital Dhaka, after which within the central metropolis of Narayanganj.
There she underwent hormone remedy, took jobs working for charities and acted in theatres, all of the whereas maintaining her research.
In January she turned the primary transgender individual to check for a grasp’s in public well being on the James P Grant Faculty of Public Well being in Dhaka.
The LGBT neighborhood faces widespread discrimination within the South Asian nation, with a colonial-era regulation nonetheless in place punishing homosexual intercourse with jail, although enforcement is uncommon.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s authorities has since 2013 allowed trans individuals to be recognized as a separate gender and in 2018 they have been allowed to register to vote as a 3rd gender.
Shishir’s broadcast on Monday coincided with Worldwide Girls’s Day and follows a collection of steps by private and non-private companies to beat deep-seated prejudices towards the neighborhood.
Julfikar Ali Manik, a spokesman for Boishakhi TV stated the channel was decided to offer Shishir an opportunity to shine regardless of the danger of backlash from some viewers within the conservative nation.
Her debut marked a “historic step,” he added.
Shishir stated she went for auditions with different channels however solely Boishakhi was “courageous sufficient to take me in.”
Forward of going reside for Monday’s broadcast she was terrified, she confided, however managed to get the higher of her fears.
“I attempted to consider stage dramas I’ve carried out in and observe strategies I’ve discovered there. However I used to be shaking inside,” she stated.
As soon as it was throughout her supportive colleagues clapped, cheered and hugged her, and solely then did the tears flood out.
“I don’t need any members of the (transgender) neighborhood to undergo. I don’t need them to reside a depressing life. I hope they are going to discover work based on their expertise,” she stated.
And Bangladeshis could also be seeing much more of her on their screens. This yr she signed up for 2 films, together with one the place she’s going to play a feminine soccer coach.