Brave and proud

Kathmandu (Pahichan) June 7 – When I was a teenager in the hills of Ilam, I heard about the Gurkha soldiers in the British like every other young men of Nepal: same excitement and determination to become one. I went to finish my college studies in Karfok Higher secondary school just about one km away from my home.

Soon after most of my peers including me were aiming to secure a place among 230 Gurkha recruits for that year who would make their way to the UK. I, so vividly remember those moments of my life where I was making these life changing decisions.

So it all began when I left Ilam and moved to Dharan where regional selection for the Gurkhas is conducted every year. I joined a local British army training centre there as it was highly popular to attend one as it still is today.

I did every trainings that were available including short/long Runs, heaves and set ups, press up, circuit training and education classes. I even memorised the ethos of the Army and every values and standards. I knew I was applying for the Gurkhas – Bravest soldiers in the world with ethos “Katar Hunu Vanda Marnu Ramro”.

I wouldn’t blatantly say I was the best but I would easily say I was no less than anyone else. Hence I MADE it – I manage to get recruited in the brigade of the Gurkhas. I passed every assessments and interviews. Not only I got recruited I managed to complete my basic trainings, allocated to Gurkha Engineer Regiment and served a tour in Afghanistan. I left the Gurkha engineers after 7 years in order to achieve a degree from University of Brighton in the UK. However, I applied for the Army nursing Bursary scheme whilst in the University which required me to attend army selection again. My determination never stopped and I trained again to attend the selection. Yet again I MADE it – I passed British Army selection again after 10 years when I first passed for the Gurkhas.

Today, I am on my last few months of the University. My career as military nurse in the British Army started immediately afterwards; nothing ever stopped not even my sexuality as a GAY man. I know our Nepali society has stereotypical definition of LGBT community which holds back so many young people to dream big. But I want to tell all my Nepali LGBT community people – we can dream big and achieve big. Don’t let anyone stop you.

I know our society is conservative and I hear rum ours that circulate behind my back. But I am not ashamed or holding back because of my sexuality. Things are changing – LGBT alliances are building up. Please be brave and join the LGBT movement in Nepal. We are as much Nepali as everyone else.