Kathmandu, December 18
The constitution has guaranteed the right to citizenship, right to equality and right to social justice for all citizens, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people have not been able to enjoy these rights.
Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender, whose name in birth certificate is Kailash Shrestha, underwent a surgery to look like a female. “Due to my feminine nature, my school and parents abandoned me when I was studying in Grade IX,” shared Bhumika.
“I wanted my citizenship in the name of Bhumika, but ward chief rejected my application saying my name did not match with the name in the birth certificate,” Bhumika said, adding that later she had to take citizenship certificate as per the name in the birth certificate. “Though I received citizenship certificate, I am not happy because my citizenship does not reveal my true identity,” shared Bhumika.
Bhumika is just an example. According to Blue Diamond Society, there are around 900,000 LGBTI people in the country, who are facing legal and social difficulties just because of their gender identities.
During a programme organised here today by Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities, Pinky Gurung, a transgender and president of Blue Diamond Society, shared that LGBTI people in the country did not get access to education, health and employment opportunities.
“We have made significant legal and political gains, but we are unable to enjoy the rights guaranteed by the constitution mainly because of society’s negative attitude towards us,” she said.
Most of the people, even the local governments are unaware of LGBTI issues. Due to the fear of being ostracised, many LGBTI people do not reveal their identity and talk openly about their sexual orientation. “LGBTI people are not even accepted by their own family members,” she said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor of Kirtipur Municipality Saraswoti Khadka shared that the municipality had allocated Rs 200,000 for ‘Third Gender Uplift Programme’ in the current fiscal, but it could not be used as the municipality did not have any record of LGBTI people.
A version of this article appears in print on December 19, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.