“I am a transgender, treat me equally like man and women”
Naresh Phuyal- “I was born as an infant. During the teenage, my sexuality was a boy. Now, I wear women’s dress. Other people may not like my dress and gesture. It could not be digestible for my many people but I feel proud of it,” Chairman of Blue Diamond Society Pinki Gurung shared her story. “Though I was born as a boy, I started to inherit the characteristic of girl, now I like boy which many people call unnatural.
But, as a heterosexual boy does not like another boy, I do not like girl, then how can you say is it an unnatural? She asked questions. People in society still abuses us using words like Chhaka, Hirja among others. We are not chhaka; Hirja is culture of Indian transgender. We are not who can not give birth to child.
There was a crowd of people. At Dias there were Chief District Officer of Kathmandu Eknarayan Dhakal, Local Development Officer Tirtha Raj Bhattarai and representatives’ political parties. From the crowd, women started to speak saying that there are not any duplication in their works. “We launch people oriented program and we are achieving a lot,” She said.
New constitution will ensure our rights, we have received passport under O category and we have also received the citizenship on some category. These are the major achievements we secured in the last one and half-decade. Director of Society Manisha Dhakal presented herself in this way at the program organized by District Development Committee to review the annual progress of non-government organizations.
Homosexuals and transgender say state has not provided them equal opportunity like man and women. According to them, State is denying to provide equal right to them terming them unnatural. “World Health organization in 1990 has announced that we are natural like man and women,” said Dhakal, “However, state and society has not treated us like man and women.” However, according to Dhakal, there have been positive changes in the recent days.
I failed to understand myself
Bhumika, a transgender, is a familiar face to Nepal media. At the initial days, she used to decorate herself by the cosmetics and clothes of her mother but she was not aware that she is a transgender. One day, when she was walking at Ratna Park, a man teased her saying chhaka. After that she started to explore the meaning of Chhaka and latter knew that she is transgender. “As I was treated as second class citizen due to my different identity, as approached Blue Diamond Society with a purpose of ending discrimination against us,” Bhumka said. “Sunil Babu Pant encouraged me to live with dignity instead of feeling guilty.”
Bhumika is active in politics. She is general convention representative of Nepali Congress. According to her, political parties should address the issues of gender and sexual minorities in a positive way, otherwise social would not take in a positive. “I am affiliated with Nepali Congress; other friends are affiliated with other parties. Due to our active role, political parties in the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election have mentioned the agenda of gender and sexual minorities,” she said. She underlined the need of formation of law as per constitutional provisions. In the second CA, NC has recommended Bhumika as a lawmaker under proportional representation system.
A big achievement
Legal Advisor of Society Prem Bahadur Thapa said the rights of gender and sexual minorities are gradually being institutionalized. “At the initial days, members of this community did not get citizenship. In 2064 BS, Supreme Court directed government to provide citizenship as per the identity. Following the SC order, the process of citizenship distribution under O category began. “This shows that state is accepting this community,” said Thapa.
Advocate Sujan Panta said state now should legalize the same-sex marriage. “After the order of Supreme Court, a commission has submitted a report after five years. The report was prepared on the basis of study of many countries,” Panta said. “The Commission has made it clear that there will not be any problems if same sex marriage is legalized.”
Prime Minster’s office has forwarded the report at Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare. Dhakal said the report should have been forwarded to Law Ministry. “The file should be forwarded to Law Ministry to legalize same-sex marriage.”
It is good for me
Deputy Director of Society Parshuram Rai complained that Nepal did not recognize the identity of transgender for the long time though Nepal takes America and other countries as ideal countries. According to him, those countries have already treated the transgender in an equal footing like man and women and Nepal should have followed this. “The people with opposite sex take the relation between man and women in a normal way. We also take same-sex relation as a natural phenomenon,” Rai said. He said all the people should enjoy the fundamental right and no one should be denied from this right. “All the people should know about us which helps to change the mindset towards us.
Rai suggested incorporating the issue of transgender as the curriculum of secondary level as well as in higher education. According to him, there are approximately one million homosexuals and transgender but they fear to disclose their identity. According to World Health Organization, women give birth to 8-9 sexual and gender minorities in very country.
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