Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

There is an LGBT community here that is small. Overall the public view is not tolerant. A gay local employee was murdered here a few years ago. I don't think anything bad would happen to an expat for being gay here, but the disgust is palpable. - Jul 2023

No. LGBT rights are not recognized. Google "Xulhaz Mannan". - Dec 2021

This is an area to be cautious. There have been severe incidents of violence, so keep your wits about you. - Sep 2021

Not really, no. LGBT are not widely accepted and violence does not seem uncommon. - Jun 2019

There is a sizeable LGBT expat community, but there are a lot of issues in the local culture with being LGBT. I'd recommend talking directly with someone in this community before coming to post if it is a concern. - Jul 2018

While there is a vibrant local LGBT community, most embassy staff will not have the opportunity to experience or interact with this community due to the security restrictions. Additionally, ISIS and AQIS have been targeting LGBT activists and brutally murdered an LGBT USAID staffer last year. I would not recommend Dhaka for LGBT expatriates. - Apr 2017

No, ISIS and AQIS are targeting LGBT folks. A prominent LGBT activist and USAID LES was hacked to death two months ago. - Jun 2016

NO. - May 2016

I don't know, but I doubt it. It's fairly conservative and may still need to open up about this. - Jun 2015

yes - Mar 2015

Singles probably not. I now of some couples. - Sep 2014

The expat community is great; Bangladesh is extremely conservative in this area, unfortunately. - Jul 2014

Wouldn't be a problem if you came with a partner - As in most Islamic societies, public displays of affection are inappropriate for straight or gay couples, and it's normal for same sex friends to spend time together. There's a gay scene here, but I think it'd be lonely for a single gay person... your limited options for dating would just get smaller. - Aug 2013

The sense of personal space in Dhaka is not like in the United States -- it's okay to be very close to other people of the same sex. Throughout Bangladesh, straight (and gay, I suppose) men hold hands in public. Two men holding hands would not seem strange to the locals. Culturally (and because of religion), homosexuality is frowned upon, but practically speaking, no one seems to notice. - Apr 2013

No prejudice locally. There are several gay/lesbian people in the community, and they seem happy, though there is no local dating. - Aug 2011

If you're a gay man, it's surprisingly easy to find casual encounters - fairly typical in most Muslim majority nations, as the gender segregation tends to lead men to be more open to sexual experimentation than in the West. There's a very, very small openly gay community, and only one (small, ineffective, and poorly organized) gay rights organization - Boys of Bangladesh).Once or twice a year they put on a large dance party for the LGBT community, but mostly it comes down to wealthy, well educated and well travelled gay Bangladeshis inviting their larger circle of gay friends to their homes for private parties, or expats doing the same. Relationships between gay expats and gay Bangladeshis are virtually impossible, at least if you expect your partner to live with integrity and honesty - gay Bangladeshis, while they might be out within the gay community, are almost never, ever out to their wider circle of friends, and certainly not their families. On an odd level, it's actually sometimes easier here to be gay than in the West - the concept of gay identity doesn't exist, educated Bengalis may literally beleive that homosexuality is something that exists exclusively in the West, and so publicly intimate behavior (holding hands, stroking hair, sleeping every night in the same bed) that would immediately lead a Westerner to conclude that two men are gay don't even begin to raise an eyebrow here. The scene for lesbians is non-existent. One lesbian Australian was here for more than five yaers and met two Bangladeshi lesbians in her time here. - Feb 2011

It would not be a good city for straight, gay, bi-, oversexed, undersexed or a-sexual persons. - Jan 2011

On the surface of Bangladeshi society, no, but there have been gay couples at the embassy who enjoyed their tours, as well as gay staff who have managed to make social connections in Dhaka's gay scene. - Oct 2010

No--this is a very conservative society. The scene is small and very underground. - Oct 2009

I don't think so. There is a small scene, but this is a very conservative society. If you are bringing your partner, you'll probably be ok. - Aug 2009

No. If you are not brining a partner and want to have a dating life, do not come here. - Mar 2009

Possibly, depending on objectives. - Nov 2008

You won't find any gay clubs. As is common in other Muslim countries, men and women walk around with each other holding hands. - Feb 2008

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