Transgenders are welcome in new Nepal

Kathmandu, October 29:

Though the government has recognised lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and inter-sex (LGBTI) as transgenders, there is still a taboo attached to them in the society.

With the onset of a new Nepal, the country witnessed many changes. One of the visible changes was the recognition of LGBTIs as transgenders. Because of this recognition, the LGBTIs can now take citizenship certificates as per their sex (third sex). Suppressed in the society in the past, the LGBTIs can now enjoy rights and privileges like all other Nepalis.

Though LGBTIs are not male or female in terms of sex and no masculine or feminine in terms of gender, they are natural persons. In their untiring fights for rights all over the world, the government gave them rights by means of which they can live their life with dignity.

“When I first realised my sexual preferences, I was not ashamed. But everyone, including my parents, made me feel like a freak. There were times when I wanted to die. But I felt that my personal preferences are of no business to others. I am happy to live a life full of dignity with my partner,” a transgender said, requesting anonymity.

Sunil Pant, Constituent Assembly member and founder-president of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), said, “There are no social stigmas attached to LGBTIs now. But we still have a long way to go. They now have been recognised by the government and the BDS is working to protect their fundamental rights, mainly to ensure their acceptance in the society.”

Blue Diamond Society is a non-government organisation that has been advocating the rights of LGBTIs.

There are more than 1.2 lakh transgenders in Nepal. Though some of them still resort to prostitution, there are many who have good jobs.

“The LGBTI who are into prostitution are forced to do so because of social discrimination. Our society leaves them with no other options. We have trained some of these people who are now working in boutiques, salons and as tempo drivers,” Pant added.

The Society in association with the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education and Swedish International Development Agency today organised a workshop in Kathmandu, to support networks of lesbian-gay organisations in South Asia in a four-year programme. Fourteen organisations are affiliated to this network.