For the third year we are unable to be part of the mongol shobhajatra and take out Roopbaan Rainbow Rally. In 2014, Roopbaan took a revolutionary initiative in claiming space and celebrating an inclusive Pahela Boishakh where gender, sex or sexual orientation didn’t matter. The third installment of the rally was cancelled by police on April 14, 2016. Without any cause the authority also detained four young gay men the same day. As the identities of the young men were splashed all over social media, Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, the then general secretary of Roopbaan spent the entire day at Shahbagh Police Station to make sure that these young men reach their homes safely. Tonoy received multiple death threats after this incident but couldn’t report it to the police in fear of further persecution. Tonoy was an artist who was proud of his sexual orientation. But he was forced to reduce his public appearances and remained almost confined after the Pahela Boishakh in 2016.
This video was taken at the beginning of April 2016 when we were preparing to celebrate the Bangla New Year. Tonoy was searching blue flowers as he wanted to dress like a peacock this time. He was happy, he could be what he wanted to be. Later in the month, he was brutally murdered along with the main organizer of the Roopbaan Rainbow Rally, Xulhaz Mannan.
The peacock could never spread its wings.