Bangladesh saw the launch of its very first magazine for the LGBTI community on Saturday at an invite only event.
The magazine is named Roopbaan – after a character from a Bangladeshi folk tale who will go to extraordinary lengths for love - and its first edition is 56 pages long and published in the Bangla language.
‘We are super excited!’ the magazine’s editor told the Dhaka Tribune at the launch, calling Roopbaan ‘a major leap forward’ for the Bangladeshi LGBTI community.
‘The main reason for this publication is to promote love,’ the editor said, ‘promoting love and promoting the right to love. The audience for love is huge and that’s who this is for.’
‘I feel that I have a relationship with every line and letter in this magazine. A relationship that has cast such an influence on me.’
The launch of the magazine was attended by the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Robert Gibson, who noted the recent recriminalization of homosexuality in India.
‘The problem in our country is many are taking the issue politically,’ Gibson said.
‘But this is about personal freedom. We need to take careful steps, and we don’t want our development to be hindered by a wrong step.’
The magazine hopes to collect contributions from volunteer writers and photographers.
Bangladesh inherited a colonial era British anti-sodomy law which punishes gay sex with fines and 10 years to life in jail.