Transgender category introduced in Nepal census

Nepal govt has decided to create a new category for transgender people in its latest census.

Updated: Jan 09, 2011, 20:05 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal government, for the first
time, has decided to create a new category for transgender
people in its latest census which is expected to begin in May.

Nepal had only two categories, men and women and now
we have included a "third gender" category, said an official.

Nepal`s Central Bureau of Statistics has started its
new census with the inclusion of a new category for the third
sex in accordance of the land mark verdict of Nepalese Supreme
Court on December 21, 2007 that directed the government to
guarantee the rights of transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual
people.

This is a good beginning and a positive gesture for
the rights of the third sex, said transgender activist Sunil
Babu Panta, who is also the country`s first gay Parliament
member.

This will certainly help in ensuring rights of the
sexual minorities, he said, adding but we don`t have enough
preparations to carry out the census.

Due to lack of awareness and fear of social exclusion
many gays and lesbians may not express their real sexual
identity, he pointed out.

The number of sexual minorities is estimated to be
more than two million, said Panta, who heads Blue Diamond
Society dedicated to the cause of lesbian and gay he said
adding but the correct picture may not come out due to the
conservative nature of the society.

But only 350,000 third sex people including 50,000
gays and lesbians have so far been identified, according to
Panta.

The census will be completed within five months,
according to the officials. Nepal conducts population census
in every 10 years and the latest estimate puts the population
of the country at 26 million.

PTI