17 May 2020, Kathmandu
International day against homophobia,biphobia and transphobia 2020 has celebrated exchanging greetings to each other through virtual meeting on Sunday. The meeting was organized by Mitini Nepal, an NGO working on lesbian, bisexual and transgender women rights.
Due to the lockdown enforced by the government to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, Mitini Nepal celebrated the day with the theme “Breaking the silence”carrying virtual meeting. The virtual meeting accomplished in the presence of sexual and gender minorities representing all seven provinces, Former Minister Ganesh Shah, media personnels, NCP central member Sunil Manandhar, UN women, National Human Right Commission, Civil Society representatives and the frontline LGBTI activists.
Founder president of Mitini Nepal Laxmi Ghalan shared the struggling story to confront with the family and society for the identity. Ghalan also said that still time will take for the LGBTI community to reveal their sexuality and come forward breaking the silence.
Makeup artist and LGBT activist Neelam Karki stressed on that the society has not fully accepted sexual and gender minorities expressing her anger why to break silence even society knows the truth. Another activist Kabita Tamang from Sunsari said that the government should address the LGBTI issues in its policy and program focusing on skill development training for economic empowerment for the community.
The first transgender model Anjali Lama stressed on equal opportunity to health, education and employment for the community. Lama also shared that the operation cost for trans is very high which might create physical and mental problems and thus government should introduce special packages to meet the need for it.
Similarly, Apekshya Dahal, Birendra Chaudhary, Swastika Pariyar among others shared their stories before and after breaking the silence. They have forced on the need for including educational materials regarding the community.
In the meeting, former minister Ganesh Shah said that he is ready to provide any assistance to the community during the tough time created by the lockdown. Like this, NCP leader Sunil Manandhar said that the party is committed to work simultaneously in the struggle of LGBTI community and for it breaking the silence is very impressive for all.
Rita Kumari Shah, Yassu Bhattachan, Rachana Adhikari Bhattarai, Jaya Luintel were also presented importantly in the meeting. They have also expressed their commitment to work with Mitini Nepal to address the LGBTI issues in the days to come.
The International day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia has started being celebrated as a festival across the world after World Health Organization has removed the LGBTI community from the list of mental illness and disorder on May 17, 1990.