Dhee is a young girl from Bangladesh.
But not just any girl. Over the years, she has become the face of Lesbians in the country, and of all those whose sexualities and romantic lives don’t fit the standards.
Why is Dhee so particular? She is a cartoon character! In a country where coming out and living openly as LGBT can cost one’s life, this strategy was carefully chosen by the organisation Oboyob (formerly known as Boys of Bangladesh) who is behind this initiative.
According to the organisers, Dhee challenges the myths and the stereotypes. It is a representation of the lives of ordinary LGBTQ individuals living within the social constraints of misconceptions, stigma, phobia and hate.
Dhee is the pictorial representation of an average small-town woman, from a middle-income family background, identifying as a lesbian, growing up, discovering herself and her sexuality, and interacting and living within a society that is prejudiced and unforgiving to diversity.
The launching event of Project Dhee is still considered to be one of the most celebrated benchmarks in the history of the LGBTQ rights movement in Bangladesh. Held on September 5, 2015, in Dhaka, the event was attended by more than 200 people from the LGBTQ community and allies to show their support. Later, this advocacy material was introduced in 12 interactive workshops around the country to engage the participants in a healthy discussion on sex, gender, and sexuality. The workshops were conducted by trained moderators who reached out over the years to over 500 people with diverse backgrounds, including SRHR practitioners, development workers, journalists, activists, writers, teachers, and students
The format of the flashcards is particularly attractive in a country where access of written supports is scarse. The uncomplicated narrative and the user-friendly card format ally here to facilitate the interaction with the target group.
The full set of flashcards can be accessed HERE