Rainbow Flag hoisted for second time in UN House 

Lalitpur (Pahichan) May 17 – With the global theme “Alliances for Solidarity”, United Nations in Nepal commemorated International Day Against LGBTI-phobia today morning hoisting the rainbow flag for second time in UN House Nepal. Delegates representing World Health Organization, United Nations Resident Coordinator, UN Globe co-ordinator, Blue Diamond Society and Mitini Nepal address the theme of IDAHOT this year.

Representing the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Valerie Julliand reminded everyone that the constitution of Nepal protects its citizen from discrimination irrespective of their gender identity, while LGBTI people still face discrimination, stigmatization at various sectors of life, including family, education, health care, employment and public spaces. Wenny Kusuma, from UN as Globe Coordinator of Nepal, explained that ‘coming out’ is self-disclosure of people’s sexual orientation and gender identity. ‘Coming out’ has reinforced heteronormality and announced that LGBTI people are not in the norm, saying that LGBTI is so peculiar that it needs to be proclaimed. She states that in a society where people assume everyone as heterosexual, no one asks “When did you come to know that you are a heterosexual?”. She gives her remarks that the cisnormal and heteronormal ideologies are harmful.

Founder of Mitini Nepal , Laxmi Ghalan mentioned that if society continues to view LGBTI people through the lens of fear, it is a phobia, that deprives many from their own dignity to live. She adds, “For equality, sustainable development, peace, freedom and democracy, we need to include everyone.” She emphasizes on positive discrimination and including LGBTI people at decision making levels of the state. Similarly, executive director of Blue Diamond Society, Manisha Dhakal expressed her fortunate to participate in Rainbow Flag raising ceremony while in many countries around the world they cannot even talk about LGBTI due to hostility and criminalization. She addressed that the hardwork of Blue Diamond Society,

Mitini Nepal, the LGBTI community, our friends, allies and including many from UN, Nepal included LGBTI rights in the New Constitution promulgated on September 2015. She also highlighted that Thamel Toursim Development Council with local police have prohibited transgenders from entering Thamel and Durbar Marga area. She said, “We LGBTI are responsible citizens of this country. We do not support any crime from anyone, from any background. It is condemnable that a generalized discriminatory assumption has been made for transgender people. It is the responsibility of police to deal with crime, but without an investigation, to put a blanket prohibition on a particular gender: THAT IS CRIME.” She asserted how this decision infringes the constitutional right of transgender people; while the constitution preamble aims to end gender discrimination, trans people are facing this crackdown.

She also raised the issue of Tribhuvan University not accepting to register a transgender student Rukshana Kapali, and how Rukshana has been kept in the state of denial from her further education. She urges the government to put article 18 of the constitution into practice, and National Human Rights Commission including government authorities to take action against the prohibition of transgender people in Thamel.

Before raising the Rainbow flag, representative from World Health Organization said, “Today with raising of the Rainbow flag, for the second time in United Nations House, UN shows that we indeed contribute to an equitable Nepal that does not leave anyone behind.” He says that this isn’t just a duty of UN or Government of Nepal, but of everyone else. He mentions that federal system devolves power at the local levels and offers amazing opportunities to build the country, where every person, irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation, lives free of discrimination. He asserts that it shall be the pride of Nepal to be inclusive, diverse and leaving no one behind.

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