we also celebrate the International Family Equality Day; focusing on Rainbow Families

Pinky Gurung/Pahichan – Today I feel extremely pride speaking in front of Excellences Ambassadors from around the world; the Honorable Minister of Women Children and Social Welfare, the Honorable Mohna Ansari, Member of the National Human Rights Commission – our host; The United Nations Resident Coordinator and the UN System in Nepal; the Media, representatives and dignitaries from different government-, international- and technical agencies, INGOs, NGOs, friends — and my fellow sexual and gender minorities, along with their families.

Yes! Today is especially about families! Today we also celebrate the International Family Equality Day; focusing on Rainbow Families,

Today it is not only a day where we homosexual and third gender communities celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bi-phobia, but is also day when we, sexual and gender minorities, mark this as day of struggle against prejudice and phobias and hate against us to a level of Zero Tolerance. I thank you all for being here and showing solidarity with our struggle.

The struggle of sexual and gender minorities first starts within us and our families. Because many of us support from our family, in terms of emotional, economical and physical help, the life of us, sexual and gender minorities, is often hard and difficult. There have been many instances where people from this community have even taken the extreme decision of committing suicide, due to the lack of education, health and employment opportunities. These are not just imaginary examples; these are our harsh reality.

We get motivated and feel confident to fight against social prejudice and exclusion only when our family helps us, supports us and accepts us. Thus I give due respect to all parents, brothers, sisters, and children present here, who have created an environment to support and accept their children, brothers, sisters and parents, and motivate them, and create awareness with in their families.

Respected Ladies and Gentlemen … and all those ‘in-between..’

Today I would like to remember 17 years back when there was no Blue Diamond Society, and we were forced to live a life that was hidden and closeted, without really existing and having no identity. With no family-, social- and cultural support, and no protective laws, we were forced to live our lives in hell. We were forced to hide our interests that emerge freely from our heart and mind to express who we are within ourselves. With the establishment of the Blue Diamond Society, with our collective advocacy, our struggles and legal battles, including recognition and our protection guaranteed in the Nepali Constitution, and with many of you in partnership, today Nepal shines as a bright light in our Asia and Pacific Region and beyond.   There is still much to be done to remove all prejudice and acts of discrimination. With you all here today, for the first time participating in raising the flag of the United Nations, together with our beautiful rainbow flag, we are all symbolizing the victory of bad over good.

Respected Friends

Your presence here today to celebrate this day is an example that we are not alone in our continuous struggle. We feel very lucky that experts, dignitaries and renowned people are here with us, people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities, and I would like to thank you all for being with us and standing for equality. We feel pride that with support from you all Nepal is becoming one of the most LGBTIQ-friendly nations in this entire world. And I truly believe that Nepal would be an LBGTIQ paradise for everyone, soon. Thank you all for being with us, once again.

And I now invite Valerie and members of our Nepali Rainbow families to raise the flags – high and proud.