A very good day to you all, as-salam alaykum, namaste.
It is an honour and equally a great pleasure to be able to send you this video message on the occasion of the launch of Roopbaan. I am grateful to Xulhaz for giving me this opportunity.
Today's occasion is important. It's important because it is part of a struggle against attitudes and laws that dehumanize gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals and transgender people, undermine their dignity, and make it practically impossible for them to lead the lives they are entitled to lead.
Real change in these attitudes and laws does not start with the government. It starts with people like you, the people behind Roopbaan and their supporters and friends, people standing up and starting a conversation, leading the way toward a better Bangladesh where love and diversity are celebrated, and where everybody is treated with equal respect and dignity.
Roopbaan will open up a new space for the queer people of Bangladesh, a space for their hopes and fears, their joy and anger, their ideas and visions. I hope it will also help allies who have since been silent find the courage to raise their voices, and those on the fence get on the right side of history.
I salute you, and I wish Roopbaan much success on its journey.