After the launch of its first magazine for homosexuals last year, Bangladesh has done it again – this time, bigger and better!
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Boys of Bangladesh aka BoB, a group of self-identified gay activists from Bangladesh, have made the headlines for creating and launching Dhee – a curly haired, bespectacled Bengali lesbian heroine of a new comic series called Dhee-er Galp. The Bengali title roughly translates as the ‘stories of Dhee,’ and will cover her journey from being born in a traditional household, the inevitable challenges faced as a consequence of being a girl, and growing up in that constraining environs to discovering her sexuality and throwing light on the biased treatment meted out to homosexuals in society.
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Displayed on flash cards instead of traditional comic strips, Dhee’s stories are meant to run a nationwide total of 15 campaigns for the cause of creating awareness about LGBT rights. On the vision that BoB has for Dhee, Mehnaz Khan, one of the four content developers of the comic, speaks up,
“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. It’s about carrying the message to all.”
Image source: Boys of Bangladesh
The character of Dhee brings to light the pressures to conform and the myriad options that she mulls over, which range from considering suicide to marrying a man to please her family, fleeing the country, or simply staying put and following her heart. The main aim of these stories is to evoke compassion for the human plight of homosexuals who are no different from any other human seeking love and acceptance!
Dhee, which is a Bengali word for wisdom and knowledge, seems rightfully directed to create awareness about sexuality and gender-based taboos. The launch of Project Dhee is a massive leap for a country like Bangladesh where homosexuality is a crime punishable by a hefty fine, and in some cases, even life imprisonment. The creators of Dhee, BoB, assert as much in their press release. Dhee, they say, is an initiative to carry forth “the nascent movement for the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons in Bangladesh.” Speaking of how the overall aim of Project Dhee is to make people view love as a universal emotion, irrespective of gender boundaries, they continue to add,
“Dhee makes human beings curious, innovate and seek out the unknown. When knowledge merges with our human instinct of compassion, we simply become better human beings.”
Well, we wish you all the best BoB! We couldn’t be more happy about Dhee!
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