LESBIAN AND GAY IN NEPAL

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LESBIAN AND GAY IN NEPAL

There are many stories behind Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Third Gender and Intersex (LGBTI) in Hinduism. Hindu society and culture perceive LGBTIs as good luck. For example, a newly born child or newly married couple in Hindu society gets blessed by LGBTIs that are believed to be an incarnation of god.

Despite the existence of LGBTIs in the society, the identity and issues of LGBTI came forward officially only since 2001 in Nepal. Since 2006, Nepal is a secular state where LGBTI community represents diverse culture and religion.

Interestingly, LGBTI people in Nepal have been successful to establish their identity and issues in private and public sphere and law, policies, plans and programmes within short period of time. Although the economic and social status of LGBTI is yet to be better, Nepal has been the most active country in South Asia towards the identity and issues of LGBTIs. It has taken a number of steps to address the issues of LGBTIs. The National Youth Policy, 2010 of Ministry of Youth and Sports in Nepal defined “youths as women, men and third genders of 16-40 age group”. By recognizing the identity of third genders, Nepal’s census-2011 included third genders in its survey form. The Supreme Court of Nepal through its verdict in 2007 introduced gender identity of third gender people as natural and urged the government to issue citizenship certificate to them as per their preferred gender identity. In addition, the 2008-2009 budgets of the government allocated some fund to ‘tesrolingi or ‘third sex’. The Three-Year National Human Rights Action Plan (2010-2013) of the government included some programmes and budget for them. The Election Commission for the first time recognized third genders in its new voters’ list in 1013.

The recent development made to protect the rights of LGBTIs in Nepal are welcoming signal to LGBTI tourism in the country. Few gay and lesbian couples from abroad have chosen Nepal for their wedding and honeymoon in the past. There are many interesting places in Nepal where LGBTI people without any problem could tour, trek and explore adventure activities, including rafting, bunjy jumping and paragliding. LGBTI people from diverse cultural background can freely enjoy their holiday in Nepal. Gay and lesbian-marriage in Nepal, including in Himalayas, can be a positive message to the people and government of Nepal that is yet to legalize the same sex marriage.

grave of Alexander Csoma
Hungerian tourists taking photo of grave of Alaxander Csoma

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