Hundreds of LGBTI members participate in Nepal Pride Parade

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Kathmandu, Aug 8 (IANS) Hundreds of people from LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual) communities from across Nepal participated in the annual Pride Parade here on Tuesday.

As every year, members of this marginalised community marched on the streets with fanfare on the occasion of Gaijatra or cow festival, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nepali Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Asha Koirala inaugurated the event by releasing colourful balloons in Thamel, a major tourist hub here.

This is the only day when the LGBTI members from across the country come out in the public sphere with their real sexual identities.

Sexual minorities from various districts of Nepal were seen marching in colourful attires, make up and vibrant accessories.

The Pride Parade has been initiated by a non-governmental organisation Blue Diamond Society to encourage the third gender people to recognise and celebrate their identity.

Manisha Dhakal, Executive Director at the society, said: “Through this parade, the LGBTI members are being organised and as part of advocacy, we want to show our existence to this society and nation.

“Our family members, friends and representatives from the government are also with us today (Tuesday), which is a positive aspect of this parade.”

Singing and dancing, the LGBTI members were seen carrying placards and chanting slogans.

They raised their voices demanding employment opportunities, harmonious behaviour from society and implementation of laws and policies.

“Neither our family nor society support us. We want to show our strength that we are also capable of doing things even without the support,” Aniee Lama, Miss Pink Nepal 2016, told Xinhua amid the rally.

Though the constitution of Nepal that was promulgated in September 2016 has guaranteed explicit laws and protection to the LGBTI community, the members are doubtful over its implementation.

The Supreme Court had directed the government authorities in 2007 to amend laws to end discrimination against LGBTI citizens.

As per this, the government has been issuing citizenship and passport for third genders under “Other” category.

–IANS

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