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Bangladesh Gets Its First LGBT Magazine, ‘Roopbaan’
Written by Pantha Rahman Reza On 26 January 2014 @ 18:45 pm | 7 Comments
In Bangladesh, Citizen Media, English, Feature, Gay Rights (LGBT), Good News, Human Rights, South Asia, Weblog
A group of volunteers have launched  Bangladesh's first magazine aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues hoping to promote greater acceptance of the community, who face widespread discrimination in the the Muslim-majority country.
The 56-page magazine is named after the Bengali folk character Roopbaan , who symbolizes the power of love. The quarterly magazine, whose publishers wish to remain anonymous, will not be available on street newsstands , for fear of inflaming tensions and sparking a backlash against the gay community.
Many online users have welcomed the launch, though some have received adverse reaction to their positive comments. Nowmee Shehab  commented on the newspaper The Daily Star's Facebook page:
wow feeling so proud and such a sense of community through this. I am very encouraged by the brave people who put the magazine together. For those who are making religious comments- leave the judgement to God, because God is all about love and acceptance towards people who are different from you. Hopefully we can move towards a secular world where all religions are accepted and no one religion is privileged over another.
Diaspora Bangladeshi Twitter user Traveller 23 (@Traveller_23 ) was happy to see that the magazine's arrival has picked up media coverage:
— Traveller_23 (@Traveller_23) January 19, 2014 
Robert W. Gibson, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh (@HCRobertGibson ), was present at the launch. He was pleased to support this initiative:
— Robert Gibson (@HCRobertGibson) January 19, 2014 
Feminist writer Taslima Nasrin (@taslimanasreen ) congratulated the initiative:
— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) January 20, 2014 
Emas Jubaer  added:
Great, news! Finally Bangladesh is prospering. I had to leave Bangladesh for being gay, now I feel like going back and do[ing] something there. People who are arguing on this topic have no idea what is being a GAY like. They even don't know what is the word GAY means.
Bangladesh is the country with the second largest Muslim population, and homosexuality is considered to be a sin. The colonial era British anti-sodomy law punishes gay sex with fines and ten years to life in jail . Abdullah Al Galib criticized  this publication:
homosexuality is a mental disease which one creates within himself. in the name of freedom they are destroying our society. well am not recognizing them for sure.
More information on the magazine can be found on its Facebook page .
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/01/26/bangladesh-gets-its-first-lgbt-magazine-roopbaan/
URLs in this post:
 launched: http://www.dhakatribune.com/arts-amp-culture/2014/jan/20/first-ever-lgbt-magazine-launched
 Roopbaan: http://www.departmag.com/archive/1st_issue/roopban_revisited.html
 will not be available on street newsstands: http://www.thedailystar.net/first-local-magazine-for-gays-launched-7611
 Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456053821161159&set=a.122641567835721.15805.100117146754830&type=1&theater
 Nowmee Shehab: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456053821161159&set=a.122641567835721.15805.100117146754830&type=1&comment_id=1112563&offset=0&total_comments=211
 @Traveller_23: https://twitter.com/Traveller_23
 #LGBTQ: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LGBTQ&src=hash
 #Roopbaan: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Roopbaan&src=hash
 #Bangladesh: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bangladesh&src=hash
 http://t.co/XjYinYGKK3: http://t.co/XjYinYGKK3
 January 19, 2014: https://twitter.com/Traveller_23/statuses/425026777384116225
 @HCRobertGibson: https://twitter.com/HCRobertGibson
 #LGBT: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LGBT&src=hash
 pic.twitter.com/NoyMTZLIz2: http://t.co/NoyMTZLIz2
 January 19, 2014: https://twitter.com/HCRobertGibson/statuses/424846801401700352
 @taslimanasreen: https://twitter.com/taslimanasreen
 @shriishyam: https://twitter.com/shriishyam
 January 20, 2014: https://twitter.com/taslimanasreen/statuses/425173793170935808
 Emas Jubaer: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456053821161159&set=a.122641567835721.15805.100117146754830&type=1&comment_id=1112652&offset=0&total_comments=132
 Rainer Ebert: http://www.rainerebert.com/
 video: http://youtu.be/h5PWASMcMno
 fines and ten years to life in jail: http://masteradrian.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/bangladesh-gets-first-magazine-for-lgbti-people/
 criticized: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456053821161159&set=a.122641567835721.15805.100117146754830&type=1&comment_id=1112965&offset=0&total_comments=132
 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/roopbaan
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