LGBTQ+ activism in Bangladesh is a comparatively less explored avenue in queer Asia studies. Although academic and socio-political conversations around hijra and transgender communities in Bangladesh are more often foregrounded, scholarly discussions around gay, lesbian, and bisexual experiences and identities are rarely pursued. This is partly due to the vitriolic and brutal treatment of gay, lesbian, and bisexual subjects and allies in the Bangladeshi nation-state where both socio-cultural ideology and legislative principles are dominated by pro-Islamic religious doctrines and colonial-time legislature that make non-normative sexual identities and acts invalid and punishable. Currently, the gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual queer communities of Bangladesh exist as “enclave publics” in the Bangladeshi online and networked media-spheres, particularly after the 2016 killings of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi, leaders of the first organized Bangladeshi LGBTQ+ activist community. However, certain queer and decolonial counter-public formation around specific alternative Bangladeshi blogs and archival websites have opened new avenues for a more sustained LGBTQ+ resistance. In this article, I problematize the approach of Bangladeshi LGBTQ+ activism and critically analyze how adopting Western frameworks of queer activism, primarily based on pro-visibility, coming-out strategies, and pride rallies, presented itself with extreme existential challenges for gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual individuals in key digital platforms. I also re-evaluate liberal narratives around progressive digital activism in Bangladeshi blogging networks to argue how blog-publics in progressive and secular platforms like Somewhere in . . . fail to protest queer oppression and advocate for queer rights. The examination observes that so-called secular blogging communities in Bangladesh is only selectively progressive, and regarding questions around the rights of LGBTQ+ subjects, makes increasingly clear that conservative and religious doctrines continue to undergird its discursive and affective logics. Finally, I closely analyze Mondro (2019), an enclave queer digital archive and alternative blogging platform for LGBTQ+ subjects in Bangladesh, created in response to the oppression and hate queer subjects face in traditional blogging communities. Predominantly centering Bengali culture, heritage, and tradition, the Mondro community secretly arranges workshops for LGBTQ+ peers on issues around mental-health, healing, and suicide prevention. Here, I claim that alternative queer communities like Mondro, that remain hidden from traditional blogging networks and mainstream media, where queer bloggers and allies mostly post anonymously, is not necessarily a move backwards into the closet, rather a timely tactical intervention for queer identities and narratives to survive and possibly thrive within the digital networks of the Bangladeshi blogosphere. This is an approach that takes the issues around queer survival in Bangladesh seriously, acknowledging and reconciling both its own cultural historicities and its situatedness in a religious sectarian nation-state. To this end, I usefully investigate Mondro through Ahmed Sofa (আহমেদ ছফা) (1981) and Kuan-Hsing Chen's (2010) decolonial frameworks of placing Asia at the center of any conceivable model of networked queer resistance and LGBTQ+ world-making in Bangladesh.

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