It’s been an adventurous month working on this multimedia project. As a part of my master’s project, I flew to Nepal for this story: personal stories of what it means to be Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender in modern Nepal.
If I have to sum up my experiences of talking to people and hours of interviews: for most Nepali LGBT population, it’s getting better. However, though legal battles have been won and the country’s sexual minorities have gained a legal status and recognition from the state, some are still fighting on a personal level while others are making an effort to be fully accepted.
During this month, I have come across some amazing people who are determined to live the life they want, regardless of their sexuality, and not defined by their sexual orientation. Despite, they have used their sexual orientation as a medium to make people aware about the sexual minorities.
Jyoti Thapa is a transgender woman, Roshan Mahato is openly gay and so is Sunil Babu Pant, the country’s only openly gay lawmaker, while Bhakti Shah is a transgender man and her partner a lesbian.
All of them are the face of Nepal’s LGBT movement.
In 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered the government to scrap all laws that discriminated against sexual orientation. The Court also mandated the government to form a committee to study same-sex marriage.
Nepal’s upcoming constitution, according to lawmakers will have a provision that says everyone has the right to marry, and marriage would be between two people rather than a man and a woman.
In May, Nepal’s Home Ministry decided to provide citizenship to LGBTI as “others,” and not under “male” or “female” category. Pant sees this as an implementation and acceptance of the 2007 Supreme Court decision by the government.
Amid all the success in the policy front, what it really means to be LGBT in Nepal? This project gives you a perspective.