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Turkey's First Trans Reporter Fired After Alleged Dispute Over Lipstick

Turkey's First Trans Reporter Fired After Alleged Dispute Over Lipstick

Michelle Demishevich, Turkey's first and only openly transgender reporter, was fired from Turkey's IMC TV this week, reports Istanbul's Bianet.

Her termination follows an alleged dispute between her and the station's management about several issues including, Demishevich says, her appearance.

"I was getting warnings about my clothes and the color of my hair," she told Bianet. "Even my use of red lipstick started to be a problem." She also said that while she was employed, she was given no insurance, low payment, and was often picked last to cover stories.

Demishevich is considered by many to be a symbol of progress for LGBT rights in Turkey, The Advocate noted in July. In her journalism, she has drawn national attention, in particular, to her country's trans population, as well as LGBT stories not covered elsewhere.

"Activism is not about only marching in the streets with flags," Demishevich told Ireland's Her magazine earlier this year. "What I call activism is my working as [a] TV reporter when other trans people are only depicted negatively by the media."

Demishevich's supporters have taken to posting images to social media of themselves wearing red lipstick. IMC TV officals deny that their decision was related to her gender identity or expression.

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