With its first transgender news anchor, Bangladesh recently achieved a feat worth celebrating! Tashnuva Anan is a rights activist who was previously engaged with NGOs in support of transgender people and is now the country’s first trans news anchor. Her first appearance as a news anchor coincided with International Women’s Day.
“This could be revolutionary and create a new dimension in people’s thinking,” Reuters quoted Anan, 29, as saying. Before starting the job, Anan underwent intensive training at a private news network, after which she was offered the job. “The biggest problem is that people are not sensitized … I hope this can do that, and urge them to look after the many ‘Tashnuvas’ around them,” she said.
According to government estimates, there are about 11,500 transgender people in Bangladesh, but LGBTQIA+ campaigners claim that the figure is expected to be at least 100,000, given Banglades’s population of 160 million.
Anan claimed that she faced sexual abuse, and was “bullied and tortured” while growing, and left her home at the age of 16. She recently received a scholarship for pursuing a Masters in public health. Anan said that it is unusual for transgender people to take up jobs in the country.
A religious charity in Bangladesh opened the country’s first school for transgenders in November. Even though Anan remains busy with her new job and education, she intends to continue fighting for people’s lives.
“I’ll always try to work for the transgender community … so they don’t drop out (of school) and don’t leave their families,” she said.