In an attempt to break the hetere-normative structures of patriarchy and promote acceptance for all kinds of sexualities, Boys of Bangladesh, a LGBT support group in Dhaka, launched Bangladesh’s first-ever lesbian comic character ‘Dhee’, the Bengali word for intellect or wisdom, on September 5 at the British Council in Dhaka. History has been made!
Boys of Bangladesh, popularly abbreviated BoB, is the oldest running and the largest network of self-identified Bangladeshi gay men living in the country and abroad. Based in Dhaka, this non-registered, non-funded and non-formal group is run by a pool of volunteers.
Boys of Bangladesh (BoB) started its journey as an on-line Yahoo group in late 2002 with aims such as bringing together the isolated gay men in Bangladesh, creating a platform where gay men can help each other come to terms with their sexuality by sharing their thoughts, feelings and experiences and ultimately building a gay society based on friendship and solidarity. With years of consistent work, this group has become the largest and the most active network for gay men in Bangladesh. This non-profit and non-funded group is moderated by a team of volunteers, selected from the group members.
Recently BoB has started to fill up the vacuum of gay activism in Bangladesh with the believe that it is essential to have a strong united LGBT community before actually striving for acceptance and equality. Hence community mobilizing and strengthening is on the top of its agenda.
Dhee, a middle-class girl from the suburbs, will take us on a journey through her life and introduce us to our familiar but rarely talked about emotions and identities.
“By creating Dhee, we want to shape perception of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, because we should be free to choose whom to love,” Mehnaz Khan, one of the four content developers of the comic, told AFP.
She is part of a larger project called Project Dhee. Project Dhee is a 14-month project undertaken by BoB to advance the LGBT movement in Bangladesh. Project Dhee aims to advance the LGBT movement in Bangladesh by producing a 5-year strategy plan for the LGBT movement in Bangladesh through country-wide awareness campaign, community mobilisation and imparting fact-based information and knowledge about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Check more at their website here.