In the aftermath of the brutal murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activists Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy at Xulhaz’s home in Dhaka on 25 April 2016, journalists and pundits denounced the deteriorating law and order situation in Bangladesh and the failure of the government to protect the free speech and security of its citizens.

While Xulhaz’s role as the founder and editor of Roopbaan, the country’s first and only LGBT magazine, has been widely publicised, little else has been written about his activism or his commitment to his country and culture.

As an activist, Xulhaz always insisted that he was a Bengali first, and this identity and commitment to Bangladesh is what drove his vision for Roopbaan and the rest of his work. His humble grace, integrity, and sense of humour made him an adept and widely respected leader. READ FULL