My day starts pretty much the same way every day. I wake up at about 8 am in the morning, say Fajar
prayer, fix my own breakfast and stat for work by 9 am. Whilst all this there is a constant bad feeling, a
sort of shyness starts to build inside me. And this is because of the fact that I am 34 years old and still
unmarried. Colleagues as well as customers brings up this topic every time and I shrunk a little.
Questions like “oh how is your wife?“ OMG you aren’t married!“ why? What the problem?“ people of
our society finds some sort of sick heavenly pleasure from talking about someone else’s personal
matter! My extended family members aren’t very different! But I choose to avoid them. But I can’t avoid
I can define myself with many words, such as unique, diverse, and talented, I just try to be a good
person. I try to analyze the situation and do what’s right and try to treat people with respect and give
everyone a fair chance. I think as long as you do that, that’s a good way to go through life.
I had a pretty cool childhood! I was born and raised in army cantonments throughout Bangladesh. There
were many days when I woke up to the sound of the bugle playing while hoisting the national flag
before the Azan! Which I suspect gave me a strong sense of discipline in life and a fascination for
uniforms I suppose. My first physical contact with another man happened there. With one of my father’s
staff officers, a handsome young Captain in the army. I was hardly 13 that time and he was in his late
twenties. I didn’t mind at all. I enjoyed every moment I got to spend with him. He became my first love
so to speak!
By 1995 I was sent away to study at a cadet college. With the intense curriculum and extracurricular
activities it was a harsh regime. Somehow after the lights were switched off at 11 pm. I discovered
another indulgence. Encounters of sexual natures were quite normal between batch mates and
between senior and junior boys. They were mostly for sake of fun. We would go to an abandoned toilet
and do dodgy things. I got caught by some students once while waiting in the dark for someone. Imagine
the bully I was subjected to!
I actively got to know likeminded people of Dhaka city from the year 2008. Very quickly I was able to
make few good friends. Those were good old days. There were house parties every other weekends and
loads of new faces each time. It was nice to have friends to confide in. many of them were really helpful.
Queer Bangla or QB started from the living room of one of my friend Salman. My friends Towsif, Shawn and
Ovee were upset about something that happened to BOB which was yahoo based at that time. There
was a heated discussion about future of BOB and the group admin. When the fight got heated up, one
of us suggested a different platform and thus QB was conceived. Our friend Salman being the generous man
he was, suggested and we all paid for the launching party which was a grand one. And it really was!
There were T-Shirts printed, cake ordered and a venue in Dhanmondi booked. Boys were invited and the
launching party was a success! QB started with a dazzle and somehow it fizzled away quite quickly.
Mainly disagreement among the four admins. I was dating Shawn those days. I knew he actually deleted
the group from the internet. The end of QB!
As I grew older I grew weary. I have had a few relationships which didn’t last. Day by day loneliness
crept inside of me. Those days most of my friends left Bangladesh one by one it was difficult not having
anybody I could talk to. Meanwhile someone introduced me to the funny medicine call yaba. Taking
which gave me a temporary high and made me forget my problems. It gave me a crazy time. Almost all
weekend would be spent with pills and orgies. Soon it took its toll. I lost weight, lost self control and
worst of all I lost my job. My parents realizing I was in a dangerous zone, sent me to rehab. Six months
of my life has no record. Just medicine and self loathing. Thankfully my parent’s patience with me was
unending. All this time they had no idea that I am going through what I am going through because I am
born gay. They took me to Mekkha and reintroduced me to my religion. I wanted to live more than
anything else so I embraced my faith. Started praying 5 times a day.
It was that time a miracle happened in my life. I call my meeting Naveed a miracle because I have given
up hopes of any normal life or meeting someone worthy after what I have been through. I have
previously given Naveed my number on social media and we both have forgotten about it. After a year
he saw me on a rikshaw and recognized me and called me. I was reluctant to meet him. He called me
second time in one evening and I decided to meet at say hello. We met in front of our local mosque.
Started meeting frequently and rest is history. When I told him about my drugs abused he gave me a
hug and ever since then supported me and loved me unconditionally. He gave me happiness which
drove the loneliness away and gave me the confidence that I too can have a normal life.
Like every one of us living here, we have to hide ourselves from the world. Naveed and I especially as
there is an age gap between us. We feel uncomfortable hanging out in public. Only his rented one room
flat was our sanctuary.
We talk about living a normal life where we can be who we are. Where homosexuality is given a liberal
look. But we actually don’t know how to achieve it. Pressure from our families are ever mounting for
marriage. Sometimes we see only darkness. Whilst all this Naveed went to a gay party with his friends
and that party got busted by the police. He was able to escape while many of his friends are still in
custody. He went on hiding. Fearing prosecution we left our flat and he was hiding in the village. We
couldn’t live like this anymore. He left Bangladesh for UK. It’s been 2 years now I haven’t seen him.
The world is moving on. Slowly but surely people are becoming more and more tolerant and embracing
diversity. But in Bangladesh’s context it is unimaginable. This topic of LGBT was taboo 34 years ago and
it still is. We can think about or suggest a whole lot of things for the betterment of our community here
but I’m afraid it will be of no good. And also the brutal murder of our friends Xulhaz and Tonoy has taken
this country 100 years back I think. I don’t think it’s a good idea to spread awareness about diversity in
our society because of the very fact that it’s a Muslim country and they will never ever accept us. Sadly
we have to live our lives inside the closet in darkness see the happy lives of other LGBT people like
ourselves in western countries on social media or TV and think to ourselves with a sigh! Maybe next life.