Shakhawat Hossain Rajeeb

Shakhawat Hossain Rajeeb is a gay rights activist who has worked with Boys of Bangladesh for 13 years before being forced to exile to Sweden, where he currently works with RFSL, the national Swedish LGBTIQ organization.

Sexual Racism: The Rainbow is Whiter than It Appears

“No fats, no femmes, no Blacks, no Asians.” “Keep it White or Latin.” “No rice, no curry and no blacks.” Phrases like these have become a usual phenomenon in gay dating apps so much so that many gay men see these as a casual ‘preferences’ and would outright deny the racist connotation attached to them. …

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Shuddhashar and LGBTIQ Rights: A History of Loss, Trauma, and Courage

A five-letter word, written in bold red, stands in stark contrast to the pitch-black cover as if to command the attention it was denied for years. The word reads সমকামিতা (homosexuality), a word that even the most liberal of minds would dare not utter, let alone put down in a book. But there it was …

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LGBTIQ+ rights in the world: A condensed update on current situation

The world has been witnessing a ‘polarized progress’ with the rise of right-wing, populist, and fundamentalist forces threatening to roll back all the rights achieved not just by the LGBTIQ+ communities but by other minorities as well.   Disclaimer: This article is an ambitious attempt to present a summary of the current state of LGBTIQ+ …

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Preface from the Guest Editor      

When Tutul bhai (Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury, editor and publisher of Shuddhashar) approached me with the idea of a special issue on LGBTIQ+ rights and asked if I would be interested to take up the ‘responsibility,’ I instantly knew I wanted to say yes. But given how I have been teaching myself to be cautiously happy …

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The Curious Case of Vietnam

LGBTI Movement in Authoritarian Regimes: The Curious Case of Vietnam

It is a paradox. Given the abysmal record in Vietnam of protecting basic human rights, one would think the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons would be a far-off, hard-fought frontier. However, Vietnam is now considered to be the leader of LGBTI rights not just in the Southeast region but also …

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Brunei’s Sharia law

Brunei’s Sharia Law: An Impetus for a Renewed Conversation on Islam, Sexuality, and Global Politics

On April 03, 2019, the Syariah Penal Code went into full effect in Brunei. The law, which was first introduced in 2013, went through several phases of implementation despite the global outcry. The new code poses grave threats to fundamental human rights and discriminates against the country’s most vulnerable groups, including children, women, and religious …

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Recognition of Hijra as a third gender / Shuddhashar

Recognition of Hijra as a third gender: A boon or a bane for the community?

In November 2013, the Cabinet of the Bangladesh government in an unprecedented manner decided to recognize ‘Hijra’ as a gender marker effectively classifying 160 million people as male, female and hijra. The announcement, widely covered and revered by national and international media, caught many activists and especially the hijra community by surprise. Firstly, because it …

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India decriminalized homosexuality

India decriminalized homosexuality, can/will other neighbors follow suit?

Gay sex is now legal in India, the largest democracy in the world with a population of 1.3 billion. While there is no official number (or a way to calculate) of how many lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer (LGBTQ) people there are in the world, it is commonly said that 5-10% of the population …

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