Nepal Adds Legal Recognition for Third Gender

Male or female? When it comes to filling out identification forms, most of us know which box to check. For others, it’s a more difficult and often troubling task. What do you do when you’re asked to “just pick one,” but neither option matches your identity? Last month, Nepal announced it would offer one solution by legally recognizing a third “other” gender.

República reports that Nepal’s Home Ministry has extended this “other” option to members of the country’s LGBTI community, particularly transgender and intersex individuals who “would get harassed at police stations, offices, schools, colleges, hospitals [and] public toilets.”

“The LGBTI community will from now onwards be categorized under ‘others’ as per their wish,” Shankar Koirala, spokesperson at the Home Ministry, told República. “Only the technical process remains to be completed in this connection.”

Nepalese LGBTI advocates are praising the decision, saying the move is empowering.

“The state has given us our right. This means we will no longer face harassment for having a different sexual orientation. Society might take time to recognize and accept us for what we are, but what the state has given us now means half the battle is won,” said Dev Gurung, who is transgender.

“The Supreme Court had passed a verdict directing the government to issue citizenship cards to the third gender in 2007, but it is finally being implemented,” Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first openly gay lawmaker, told The Nation. “My friends have told me they feel proud about it.”

Often, LGBTI Nepalese encounter difficulty applying for colleges, opening bank accounts and obtaining travel permits because the gender on their official documents doesn’t match their appearance. Pant believes the addition of a third gender will alleviate a significant number of the problems.

“It will also help find the correct figures on the number of third gender in Nepal, so the government can address the problems facing this community,” Pant said.


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Graphic ©2012 Miranda Perry, used here with permission.


Marianna B Molnar Woods


Marianna B Molnar Woods


Huber F.
Huber F3 years ago

This is getting worse without without its serious solutions. nasty wackos.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L4 years ago

Nepal is a country that actually used the revolution to write a new constitution that will protect minorities. And the leaders invited the whole population to help write it! There's hope for the world.

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin4 years ago

I made a video about why Homosexuals should have equal rights. It’s at my YouTube channel Zarrakan, and here’s the link:

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil Homophobes.

Jennifer E.
Jennifer E4 years ago

Wow! How wonderful that a little country like Nepal has taken such a huge step in the inclusive direction! Are they the first on the planet to do so?

Congratualtions, Nepal!! There are a LOT of countries that need to take a leaf out of your book!

Brigitte Stolk
Brigitte Stolk4 years ago

Yep, equality was meant for EVERYONE, there 's hope..

Kristen H.
Kristen H4 years ago


Aimee A.
Aimee A4 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Noreen Niamath
Noreen Niamath4 years ago

I have never thought about "other" in terms of gender I know I appreciate "other" when it comes to the race question. Do we have the other gender box in this country? I am surprised that my first knowledge of the option comes from India and I am happy that they got what they asked for. I hope it serves them well.