Boys of Bangladesh (BoB), a support organisation for the gay community in Bangladesh, has launched the first-ever Bangladeshi lesbian comic character “Dhee”.
The character of Dhee has been developed as an advocacy tool for a broader project – Project Dhee, which aims to take forward the movement to establish and preserve rights of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community in Bangladesh, according to BoB.
BoB says there is a reason they chose to share the story through a female character: the LGBT movement has so far been male-dominated, and they wanted to bring a change in that. They further wanted to destigmatise the discussion of female sexuality in our society.
Dhee, which in Bengali means intellect, knowledge, wisdom, uses the story of a girl’s longings to address the silence and stigma of gender and sexuality in our society. It was launched through a theatrical performance with songs, dances and monologues – which included narratives about the stigma around menstruation, the female body, and about the gendered roles assigned in our society.
The stories are told in comic strips that are portrayed flashcards, and will be used to conduct 15 countrywide campaigns to spread information about gender and sexuality.
Activists and artists of various backgrounds were present at the event held at the British Council on Saturday.
Calling for LGBT rights to be acknowledged, Nijera Kori coordinator Khushi Kabir said: “We don’t want to be stuck inside boxes anymore. We want our mind to be free.”