Celebration of diversity and sexuality: country's first pride parade
"I kissed a girl and I liked it....."
"My brother is gay and that's okay."
The first pride parade taking place in the pride month of June in the country witnessed participants swaying their bodies to a diverse range of pride anthems in Maitighar (Fibwa-Khya) today.
Hundreds of participants with decorative face paintings (being done on the spot by some participants themselves), colourful umbrellas, and vibrant clothes flooded the Mandala area in anticipation of the parade. Performers danced in the square while the crowd waved large pride flags in excitement.
When asked why Marginalised Orientations, Gender identities, And Intersex: MOGAI (pronounced: muggy), a new acronym for gender minorities was used for the parade, Kapali shared that they were looking for a term that included identities beyond just what the acronym "LGBTIQ" stands for.
This parade differed from the Pride March organised annually by the Blue Diamond Society that takes place during the festival of Gaijatra. Kapali explained the reason for organising a pride parade in June is to increase the visibility of the community and to provide a separate platform for members to celebrate their sexualities.
"While the support for the LGBT community is growing, there is a lack of awareness about the various sexualities like asexuals, pansexuals, bisexuals, and gender fluid," shared Kim Thakuri, a participant who identifies as a non-binary pansexual.
One of the main aims of the parade was to shed light on the specific gender identities by holding placards that defined the wide range of sexual orientations, in not just Nepali and English, but multiple ethnic languages.
The first of its kind, this pride parade boasted large youth participation and successfully delivered the message of equality, diversity and intersectionality in the Nepali context.
"Gradually people are becoming more aware and now I can connect with other people from the community more openly. So, I don't feel like I am alone anymore," said Shrestha, happily embracing their sexuality through their new buzzed hair-cut.