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The lives of slain LGBTI activists in Bangladesh celebrated in stunning exhibition

The lives of slain LGBTI activists in Bangladesh celebrated in stunning exhibition

A photo from the Human Rights Campaign's exhibition celebrating the Bangladeshi LGBTI community. Photo: HRC

A dazzling photo exhibition is celebrating Bangladesh’s LGBTI community a year after the brutal murder of two of their most visible advocates.

Xulhaz Mannan was the editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBTI magazine, Roopbaan, and Mahbub Tonoy were hacked to death by militants from an Al-Qaeda linked terrorist group.

The Human Rights Campaign is hosting the week-long exhibition at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Title Roopkotha (Fairy Tale) the exhibition features photos of key LGBTQ community activities over the past few years in Bangladesh.

What they achieved

Mannan organized the Rainbow Rally in the capital city of Dhaka with people dressed in colorful clothes that created a Pride flag, as well as an LGBTQ film festival, LGBTQ youth leadership program and health campaign.

Tonoy volunteered with the Boys of Bangladesh, a self-identified gay male advocacy group, and was elected as the General Secretary of Roopbaan in February 2015.

Tonoy helped conduct the first-ever LGB community survey in 2014 and co-organized the much talked about Roopbaan Rainbow Rally in 2015. He helped organize various cultural events and constantly worked towards to mobilized the community.

The photographs in the exhibition narrate the community initiatives Mannan and Tonoy started and the change they stood for.

HRC said they provide a glimpse of the work the men did which was fuelled by sheer courage and a desire for change.

‘This exhibition is a small way of sharing their lives and work with the world,’ the HRC said.