Trans journalist and presenter Michelle Demishevich has this week has her contract with Turkish station IMC TV terminated following a dispute between her and the station’s management.
Demishevich, who is widely known as Turkey’s only openly-trans TV presenter, was fired after a number of issues were raised – but she blames a large amount of the decision on a culture of public transphobia.
“I was getting warnings about my clothes and the colour of my hair. Even my use of red lipstick started to be a problem” she told journalists.
Demishevich’s termination from the station was blamed on a violation of professional ethics and the station management claims that the decision was not related to her gender identity.
During her time at IMC TC Demishevich claims that she was subject to mobbing several times and that the treatment she faced was often sexist and transphobic.
Ms. Demishevich is currently working with a legal team to seek compensation from her former employers, stating issues such as a lack of insurance and her professional treatment as reasons for the lawsuit.
Michelle Demishevich was held as a symbol of positive progress in Turkey by many LGBT groups. As a journalist her work often covers LGBT and gender issues often overlooked in the mainstream media and as an individual she brought public attention to Turkey’s transgender community after being profiled by several international news sources.