Roopbaan – Freedom to Love, is the milestone achievement for the LGBT community in Bangladesh. In 2014, against all odds, Roopbaan began its journey as the first Bangladeshi LGBT magazine. Its vision is the advancing of the LGBT community’s right to love in Bangladesh. With Xulhaz Mannan’s promising leadership, Roopbaan quickly became a prominent LGBT community platform in Bangladesh through organizing community events to raise awareness and creating a safe space for gender and sexual diversity; freedom to love in other words. In 2014, with Xulhaz Mannan, we boldly took the initiative to organize Roopbaan’s first Rainbow Rally to celebrate friendship and diversity. Our visible and positive attitude soon stirred the hateful to act with violence toward our members. The year of 2016 was the tragic year for us; the hatred of certain aggressive zealots overpowered our positivity with their negativity. Our founding president Xulhaz Mannan and general secretary K Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were gruesomely assassinated inside Mannan’s home. The whole incident devastated the LGBT community. Many LGBT activists were forced to relocate for their own safety. We saw a vacuum within LGBT leadership of Bangladesh. We not only lost two of our visionaries, we also lost our dearest friends. Xulhaz Mannan and K Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy are not with us today, but their legacy is still with the remaining members. We Roopbaan strongly state that Love can conquer all and we will carry on their legacy to advocating the Freedom to Love in Bangladesh.
Co-founder & Chairperson
Freedom to Love