At Nepal’s Pride Parade, A Unique Vision of Queer Resistance
On Saturday, after a two-year, COVID-induced hiatus, members of the Nepali queer community and their allies took to the streets of Kathmandu for the Nepal Pride Parade—celebrating their hard-earned wins over the past decade, and looking to the future of LGBTQ+ rights within the landlocked Himalayan country.
On hand to witness it was the Nepali photographer Sagar Chhetri, who had first heard about the march when it was launched in 2019. “I was aware it happened because I had been following the people organizing it quite closely,” says Chhetri of that first parade. “But this year was my first time seeing it in person. It was quite exhilarating, to be honest, and so exciting to see all these young people laughing, smiling, dancing to music—all of it.”
While Nepal is known for its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights in Southeast Asia—at least, compared to many of its neighboring countries—those political freedoms didn’t come easy, and Nepali activists note there is still a long way to go. Following the abolition of its monarchy in 2008, the new constitution drafted by the country’s Supreme Court recognized LGBTQ+ rights as fundamental human rights. But same-sex marriage is still yet to be legalized, and challenging discriminatory laws around access to property and education remains a key objective of Nepali activists seeking equality moving forward.
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