Monday Mar 4, 2024
Monday Mar 4, 2024

Blue Diamond Society: Waving the Pride banner up high

At the forefront of the LGBTQI+ movement in Nepal is the Blue DIamond Society that has been actively involved in advocating the rights of these individuals on a national scale

2022 Feb 17, 7:45,

Belonging to the proud LGBTIQ+ community, in today’s day and age, is mostly met with cheers and appreciation rather than jeers and hate compared to a couple of decades ago. The world is more sensitized and empathetic of the struggles the LGBTIQ+ community have to face on a daily basis. However the unspoken yet perennial presence of homophobia seems to be passed on from generation to generation within families. Especially in a conservative, heteronormative society such as the one we live in, homophobia despite awareness against it and the changing times, is normalized and passed down in Nepalese households in more blatant crude manners along with subtle, subliminal mannerisms.

May that be the use of homophobic slurs such as “chakka”, “hijada” openly used by children in schools making fun of any behavior they find outside of the heterosexual norm or simply as a derogatory term to their friend or sending ones sons and daughter’s to “correctional ashrams” to cure their gayness.

“We are normal, upstanding humans that should get to live as an equal, functioning, loved member of society without being looked upon weirdly. We do not need society's pity, we simply want a level playing field, we want to be able to see eye to eye with every human being without being judged simply for who we are,” affirms Pinky Gurung, President of the Blue Diamond Society of Nepal.

The Blue Diamond Society Nepal has been working tirelessly for the past 20 years to Uproot the very system of homophobia and normalized gender based discrimination in the nation . Established in 2001 the blue diamond society Nepal has been at the forefront of the LGBTIQ+ rights movement in the nation and in Asia founded by Sunil Babu Pant. This organization has been working On multiple fronts to bring about awareness in the Nepali public.

"The apprehension we faced in the beginning while trying to establish this organization was immense. We approached political leaders and donors who simply turned us down telling us that being gay or belonging to this community simply didn't exist in Nepal,” exclaims Gurung. "If we didn't raise our voices at that point and persevered through all these difficulties then we would never have gotten any representation in any shape or form," she adds.

Speaking of the changing times and the feeling surrounding them, the modern generation Gurung says, “Yes, in this era, people are more aware. In the 22 years that the Blue Diamond Society has operated, the LGBTIQ+ movement of the country has come leaps and bounds. Some examples of this can be seen in our constitution. Article 12 of the Constitution that guarantees our rights as an LGBTIQ+ person in the country and Article 18 pertaining to our social justice are a few of the laws put in place for us."

According to researchers Nepal has the 3rd best constitution in the world; It is one of the most progressive constitutions that guarantees many rights for the LGTBIQ+ community however the implementation of these laws seems laggard. The laws seem to just be there for the sake of it, there is no plan or strategy put in place to put into action which would help the LGBTIQ+ community out tremendously.”

“One of the major things we do here in Blue Diamond Society is advocacy. For example we have been advocating for the rights to same-sex marriage in the nation. The constitutions still does not provide for same-sex marriages to take place and thus hundreds of couples looking to get married simply cannot. Another issue we feel strongly about is the representation of our community in the census; we've been actively campaigning for our identity to be properly represented in the national numbers," Gurung informs.

There are many instances where governmental policies are rather redundant when it comes to ensuring their rights and representation. When it comes to the citizenship issue, the government added the provision of identifying as a LGBTIQ+ person in the citizenship, however for those accepted their true genders, they required medical papers confirming the so-called ‘gender change’. "These people don’t change genders, they, their soul was born as that gender, it isn’t a change it's an acceptance of soul and that’s the message we’ve been relaying, a person would get to be and identify as what they want to.” affirms Gurung.

If there were ever to be any sort of impactful change in society when it comes to the perception of the LGBTIQ+ community and the general normalization of homophobia, it must begin from the ground up. “Another thing that we focus a lot on is education and changing the curriculum from the ground up . To impact change from a grassroots level, we must educate children about these things from a young age, we’re in constant contact with the education board to optimize the national curriculum and make it more informative when it comes to inclusion and discrimination and when it comes to LGBTIQ+ representation and queries.” adds Gurung.

The change in the past 20 years in the LGBTIQ+ sphere in the country has been significant, the hope amongst people remains that this wave of new generation aware youths carry with them the equal representation ideals that our world needs. “We look at a mirror and we hide our blemishes and try to make ourselves look good, we must do that with our souls as well, if there’s any ounce of hate in us on such matters we must cleanse ourselves,” Gurung concludes.


LGBTIQ Blue Diamond Society Pinky Gurung Sunil Babu Pant homphobia awareness inclusiveness
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