Contemporary Bangladesh presents a rather paradoxical situation in terms of non-normative genders and sexualities. For example, historically there have been at least two publicly visible sexual/gender subcultures of putatively effeminate males desiring macho males namely Hijra and Kothi. Moreover owing to rampant homosociality (the fact of two same gendered persons’ being in intimate relation is not generally accorded any homoerotic connotations) a wide range of linguistically unmarked and culturally unrecognized same sex sexualities have also been existent. Alongside these, transnational gay ‘underground’ groups also emerged from 2000 onwards. Yet same sex sexualities remain criminalized though socio-legal persecution is rare.Against this backdrop I attempt to highlight the complex intermingling of factors like ‘homophobia’, class, Islam, emergent rights activism and political economy in the production of contested sexual agency.

Source: In Plainspeak: Shades of Grey: Conceiving Sexual Agency – – Adnan Hossain