Coming out in inverted commas because I'm unsure as to how I feel about the term. No one should feel obligated to declare their sexuality - it is a very personal thing. However, we live in a world where people are assumed heterosexual until they assert otherwise, and as such coming out is often a practical thing you have to do. How can we expect to obtain our rights, without first asserting that we exist?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Opinion: Pride Colours in Dhaka

The parade - image taken from Gay for Girls

Update (20th April 2014): According to the Gay Star News article here, they spoke to the organisers and this was not a Pride march but rather a rally to celebrate diversity and friendship with LGBT and allied participation. Personally I think this is a good stance and a very good first step. I'm leaving this and my other blog posts as they originally were, but including this note for clarity - the assumptions about it being a Pride march were mine based on news and social media reactions.

Update (19th April 2014): I've translated some of the social media reactions to this here.

Apparently there was a Pride parade in Dhaka on Tuesday 14th April during the city's Pahela Boishakh (or Bengali New Year) celebrations. I don't have any concrete details right now, including the identity of the organisers or what their intent was. I've come across a lot of comments on Twitter and Facebook from LGBTQ themed pages and links to mainstream media reports. However, these have all been in Bengali so below is a translation of an article from priyo.com. I have the text clipped in case the article is removed. I will also update with any details as I come across them.

Comments have been mostly negative, but there is some positivity there too. Comments are social, religious as well as political. Some are in English. I may do a follow post translating some of the Bengali comments soon. It is interesting to note that the Roopbaan group mentioned below is now no longer on Facebook. I wonder why - too much homophobia, a hack or the government?

Homosexuals Hold First Open Rally in the Capital

priyo.com
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 - 1:30pm

A group of homosexuals, who previously came to attention by publishing a magazine for homosexuals called Roopbaan, have held their first open rally in the capital during Bengali New Year celebrations. 

The group brought out their rally at Shahbag on Monday around 9.30 AM after the Mongol Shobhajatra. Coordinated to the well known homosexual symbol of the seven colours of the rainbow, the rally marched from Shahbag to the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel (previously known as the Sheraton) and before turning back to Shahbag. 

The rally consisted of gay men marching in seven lines wearing purple, blue, indigo, green, yellow, orange and red panjabis carrying paper flowers, birds and balloons. At the end of the rally they released their balloons to the sky. The unusual organisation of the rally created curiousity amongst members of the public present in the area. 

An outburst of activity has been observed on the Facebook group for homosexuals called 'Roopbaan' as a result of the rally.  It has been learned that they are thinking of organising a 'Gay Pride Parade' similar to those in Western countries. 

It is also of note that in January 2014, after the publication of Bangladesh's first homosexual magazine 'Roopbaan', the issue has created much discussion amongst people and society.

Quick Links

I only run this personal blog and have no direct link to anyone. Below are links that will give you a better look at the community in Bangladesh.


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