Monthly Archives: August 2009

Pakistan’s lone gay writer rests pen, says sorry

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Islamabad – Gay community in India may be celebrating the Delhi High Court’s landmark ruling that decriminalized homosexuality, the lone Pakistani who blogs about gay travails has decided to stop writing.

“Not in Pakistan. I cannot. Sorry,” Jalaluddin, who blogs at Tuzk-e-Jalali, wrote in his latest and perhaps last post on June 28. “I guess all of you guys will have to get used to the fact that I will, from now on, be blogging very irregularly, as in once a quarter or something.” Jalal describes himself as a “20-something sarcastic, psychotic, socialist, homosexual blogger from Karachi” who was educated as an engineer, but works as a banker and dreams of being a traveler and writer.

“For all the actions where I have come out of the closet to my family and friends does not mean that I am ready to do it officially. So, for now, I am going to have the following goals in life, I want to learn how to speak French and Farsi (Persian) and I want to learn horse riding, sword fighting, archery and shooting,” he wrote. “One of the reasons for not blogging for the past three months would be the fear elicited by the fact that my blog has been quoted. The closet door is being banged at very hard. I would have to request you people to at least not try to knock on the closet door,” he wrote.

You can have a look at his works here:



Filed under International - Persecution of Homosexuals, Islam and Homosexuality, Media-Indian Subcontinent

Evergreen Demo version released

Evergreen, a documentary & educational program currently in progress:

Evergreen is a documentary currently in production in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The demo was shot with a reduced crew and edited with personal equipment. This segment hopes to highlight the characters and style of the upcoming documentary.

Visit the following links to see the demo movie file:

In English Subtitles:

In French Subtitles:

Visit link to download demo move file:

To see how you can take part in this project please download the following PDF:…

For more info please visit:

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Filed under Bangladesh LGBT events, Bangladesh Trans Issues, Islam and Homosexuality, Media-Indian Subcontinent, Media-International

EVERGREEN: A documentary project on Bangladeshi Transexuals

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Filed under Bangladesh Trans Issues, Islam and Homosexuality, Media-Indian Subcontinent, Media-International

The right to be gay and Muslim

Crossposted from LGBT Asylum News

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Gay in Egypt
Homosexuality is not specifically prohibited in Egypt, but gays are regularly arrested and charged with “debauchery”. One of the most infamous cases occurred in 2001 when 52 men were arrested during a police raid on a floating night club, the Queen Boat.
We speak to one of the men, Mazen who was jailed for a year and sought asylum in France.


Gay life in Istanbul
Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey but gays and lesbians are regularly harassed by the police and the general public. Homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people have been fighting for over a decade to create space for themselves.
We talk to Emre-Can, a young man living in Istanbul, about gay life in Turkey.


The gay Imam
Most Muslim clerics condemn homosexuality outright, citing several verses from the holy Koran. But there are Imams who are actually gay themselves. Eric Beauchemin speaks to Imam Muhsin Hendricks from South Africa who explains how he reconciles his faith with his homosexuality.


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Filed under International - Persecution of Homosexuals, Islam and Homosexuality, Media-International

Daily Star newsline brews up Transphobia

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 05:04 PM GMT+06:00
Published On: 2009-06-25
Hijra panic grips city dwellers
Alpha Arzu
City dwellers remain in a state of panic nowadays due to frequent attacks of hermaphrodite (hijras) populace who suddenly come to the houses or make attacks on individuals at different signal points for money or other goods.

Hijras attacked Shamima Akhter, mother of a two-month-old son, at her Gulshan residence where she lives with her husband.

She said, “I went to the veranda after hearing shouting of my guard around 11:00am yesterday and found some five to six hijras beat up my guard as he refused to allow them to the house.”

“I got panicked and called my husband, who was also harassed by the group of hijras. They demanded Tk 5,000 for our kid’s welfare, otherwise they would kidnap my son,” said Shamima.

The doting mother also said, “We finally paid them Tk 2000 after much hard bargaining. We have already decided to change our house from this area as they [hijras] frequently come.”

Runu Ahmed, mother of a newborn, of Sector-13 at Uttara Model Town said, “I’ve been observing some hijras moving around our house in the last few days. On Friday, when my husband and father-in-law went to the mosque for Juma prayers, they entered the house skipping the wall.”

“It was horrible as my mother-in-law was sick, and I just cured after my delivery 10 days before. So, we got panicked and called the police, who rescued us by paying Tk 500 on that day,” said Runu, wife of Jewel Ahmed, a high official of a private phone company.

The couple explained how they had fallen victim to the eunuchs second time just after three days. This time they [hijras] were saying with more offensively: “Police never do anything against us, and as you called police on Friday, you would have to pay more Tk 1000 and the grand total is Tk 6000 today.”

After an hour’s bargaining, the family got relief of the harassment after the intervention of the Rapid Action Battalion, who came to the place after getting a phone call from their neighbour, said Runu.

Officer-in-Charge (OC) ABM Zakir Hossain of Uttara Model Police Station told The Daily Star, “Earlier, we received at least 15 calls each day. The number is on the decrease now.”

“We have met the hijras several times and offered 300 hijras jobs at a time at a garment factory, but they refused to work, he said.

About 150 hijras live in different slums at Uttara, the OC said, adding, “Hijras ensured us at a meeting that they would not charge the exorbitant amount. The amount was fixed between Tk 200 and Tk 500, which was Tk 2000 and Tk 5000 earlier.”

“People now get panicked instead of showing kindness to them for their attacking and offensive behaviour,” said Zakir.

Hijras also attacked the commuters at different signal points where cars and other vehicle stopped for few minutes, said a victim, who recently lost a mobile phone and a wallet from his own car at Mohakhali.

“Suddenly, they come to the car and try to enter the vehicle by force or start to scold in very offensive language and gesture,” said the victim.

The hijras also attack the different construction firms who are constructing the new building. They come to the project site and demanded money, otherwise they take construction materials, including rod, wood and others, which also cost Tk 1000 to Tk 2000, said Mahmudul Hasan Prince, site manager of Nandan Kanon Developers.

Kachi, a hijra community leader of Uttara, told this correspondent, “We are human by born, not by sexual identity; but people always neglect us to live in a society or a family. So, we have to find new ways to survive.


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Filed under Bangladesh persecution of Homosexuals, Bangladesh Trans Issues, Media-Indian Subcontinent

Hijras take to Dhaka catwalk in unique awareness campaign

Wed, Aug 19th, 2009 1:00 am BdST

By Fahmida Wadud Chaity

Dhaka, Aug 18 (—The audience at a show titled “Agony and Ecstasy,” at the National Museum on Tuesday, were treated to a unique event as Hijras took to the catwalk in a fashion show as part of the programme’s aim to to sensitise the larger community on transgender issues.

The programme, also aiming to create awareness about the risks of HIV/AIDS and drug-use, was organised by the Bandhu Social Welfare Society, which works for the wellbeing of the socially excluded “males and their partners” through the provision of sexual health services, support of their human rights and alternate livelihoods.

Shale Ahmed, executive director of BSWS told, “They are regularly stigmatised in many ways, which harm their self esteem. They tend to think they are useless. They feel isolated and excluded.”

“This particular programme is a part of our protest against the stigma. It is an effort to make the community feel empowered.”

The fashion show aimed to showcase the Hijra/transgender sense of fashion and style. Their vivid make overs, performance and attitude on the catwalk expressed self-belief and appeal.

“We wanted to give them a sense of empowerment, so that they can feel they too can contribute in the society.”

People from all walks of society attended the “dazzling event”. Tisa, a trendy young member of the audience, said, “I really liked it. It is amazing to think that a Hijra fashion show can take place in Bangladesh.”

The chance to perform in a glitzy fashion show, at the National Museum auditorium, in front of a diverse audience will certainly boost the Hijras’ confidence and at the same time sensitise people about their issues, Shale said.

Asked if BSWS had any intention to promote ‘Hijra culture’ in the larger community, he said, “We are in exactly in the process of doing that. Bringing many of them together from different parts of Bangladesh was very difficult. They were scattered before coming under our umbrella.”

“But those who were interested to work for their own community, we gave them the chance by setting up their own centres.”

The centres, named Shustho Jibon (Healthy Life), are managed by the Hijras themselves. BSWS’s role is to provide logistical support.

The Hijras, who find few opportunities to make a living outside the sex trade, gain self-esteem, vocational and life skills training such as sewing and dancing, as well as information on the risks of drug-use, HIV/AIDS and other STDs through the centres.

Speaking of society’s prevailing attitude to this marginalised and stigmatised community, Shala said, “The way they are, they are. It is not a matter of right or wrong. It is our problem that we cannot accept them.”

BSWS envisions a society where every person, irrespective of their gender and sexuality preferences, is accepted as equal.

Twenty-eight year-old Payel, who took to the catwalk that evening, said, “I am so happy to be here and taking part in the fashion show.”

Payel, who joined Shustho Jibon 11 years ago, said, “We are working for our own well-being and human rights.” She said they also try to check HIV/ AIDS and other STDs within their community.

“I have gained confidence joining Shustho Jibon, and of course after taking part in this show tonight!”

None of Payel’s family came to cheer her on the catwalk but, on a personal note, she told that her family did keep in touch with her.

Payel is lucky. Many Hijras are disowned by their own families. “Initially it was tough to convince my family about my activities and our community. But now they are fine with it,” she said.

“I am what I am from the day I came out from my mother’s womb. There was nothing to do about it, but to accept it,” said Payel.

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Filed under Bandhu BSWS, Bangladesh LGBT events, Bangladesh Trans Issues, Media-Indian Subcontinent

Inauguration of Gender & Sexuality Resource Centre GSRC

By Tanvir Alim

On August 17, 2009, the soft inauguration of Gender & Sexuality Resource Centre GSRC, Bangladesh took place at Lalmatia, Dhaka

IMG_2663The proposal of a coalition of the Bangladeshi LGBT people was a logical consequence and a follow up of the first ever LGBT -workshop Boys of Bangladesh (BOB) organized in February, 2009. Since then in just a few months time it came a long way in forming the coalition which aims to strengthen the bond among the diverse LGBT people/groups/organizations and work on the common goals. The members of the coalition feels that it is indeed very important to generate a united effort to make their voices heard and fight for rights. The coalition right now is going towards the process of registration and plans to start its activities formally from January 2010.

IMG_2609More than forty five people participated in the event which includes Royal Norwegian Embassy, CARE, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Naripokkho, Centre for Gender, Sexuality & HIV/AIDS-JPGSPH BRAC University, Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Sustho Jibon, Sacheton Shilpi Shangho, Rong Berong, Shawprovo, Sakhiyani and Boys of Bangladesh. Besides there were activists, researchers, lawyers, psychiatrists and supporters who believes in sexual diversity


Tanvir Alim is a  Gay Rights Activist and is actively associated with BoB as a moderator.He is presently involved in gay community building process in Bangladesh and editing a quarterly publication of BoB


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Filed under Bangladesh LGBT events, Boys of Bangladesh, Media-Indian Subcontinent, Tanvir Alim