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21 Dec 2015

Nepali activists highlight issues facing lGBT community in South Asia

Grassroots activist from Nepal, Roshan Mahato, presents to Human Rights Watch in Washington

A Nepalese LGBT activist, Roshan Mahato worked with the Blue Diamond Society in Nepal. With 53 offices throughout the country Blue Diamond Society is the largest rights and health organisation in Asia.

Mahato travelled to Washington DC to connect with organisations that work with LGBT refugees and asylum seekers in the US.

The LGBT rights activist spoke of the long tradition of transgender in Nepal's Hindu and Buddhist culture. He remarked that transgender performers and entertainers were part of the nation's culture long before the modern LGBT movement.

Despite this, Mahato asserted that LGBT in Nepal face widespread discrimination in the areas of education, housing, healthcare, and employment. He went on to add that LGBT are often portrayed in the media in sensational or stereotypical ways.

He noted recent victories in the progression in LGBT rights. A supreme court verdict in 2007 granted LGBT people equal rights and called for same-sex marriage. In 2015 the constitution was altered to protect LGBT from discrimination.

Mahalo also said that Nepali LGBT activists have established strong communities and support networks.

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 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia