20 May 2020
This statement is also available in Nepali
Every year the second saturday of June is observed as Pride Day in Nepal. Since 2019, Nepal has begun its own autonomous and independent Pride Parade to mark a celebration of diversity of gender and sexuality. The Second Saturday of June in 2020 falls on 13 June 2020 (31 Jestha 2077, 1140 Tachhala-gaa 8).
Pride Parade in Nepal is organized by Queer Youth Group, Queer Rights Collective and Campaign For Change. Queer Youth Group (QYG) is an informal network in 2018 voicing for rights of queer people. We primarily work on advocacy and policy changes, research and knowledge generation, publications and resource creation as well as movement building. We are in process to become a not-for-profit. Queer Rights Collective (QRC) is an informal affiliation of queer people in Nepal, works as a support group. Campaign For Change is the first and the only intersex-led organization that works for rights of intersex people.
Pride Parades are observed across the globe to celebrate the diversity of gender and sexuality in the social bubbles where gender and sexuality is seen as binary and opposite. While Nepal had many observations and celebrations regarding queer people, in 2019 it was the first time that a separate pride day was observed on 29 June marking 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot.
How is the Pride Parade happening this year?
Full Name: Nepal Queer/MOGAI/PoMSOGIESEC Pride Parade.
In Short: Nepal Pride Parade
Queer: Queer is an umbrella term that refers to diverse gender and sexualitites beyond the binary and opposite (cisgender-heterosexual) social norms.
MOGAI: (say ‘muggy’) stands for Marginalized Orientations (sexual and romantic), Gender Alignments (identity and expressions) and Intersex variations.
PoMSOGIESEC: say (pom-sogi-sek) stands for People of Marginalized Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics.
Three of these terms can be used interchangeably to refer a wide range of population in the spectrum beyond endosex, cisgender and heterosexual. Endosex people have sex anatomies that fit into the binary of male and female norms. People who aren’t endosex are people in the diverse spectrum of intersex variations. Cisgender people have a gender identity that aligns with their sex assigned at birth. People who aren’t cisgender are transgender, non-binary, third gender and people over diverse gender spectrum. Heterosexual people are people who are sexually and romantically attracted to people of a different gender. People who aren’t heterosexual are people across the diverse sprectrum of sexualities beyond man-woman attraction.
Please refer to Basic Vocabulary on SOGIESEC (in Nepali), an article (in Nepali) Online Queer Dictionary (in Nepali with English words), SOGIESEC Dictionary by Queer Youth Group for more related vocabularies. [ Side note : We don’t invest much in creating resources in English as there are ample resources being created globally. We focus more on local languages. ]
Hashtags : #NepalPrideParade #NPP2020
We will be using Twitter and Instagram platforms.
We urge everyone to be sensitive and responsible about the language being used. Use of incorrect language contributes to reproduction of an already existing mountain pile of misconceptions, myths, prejudice and stigma.
Gender and sexual minorities ?
No one knows the population of queer people and declaring us as minority is dismissive. Moreover the focus on ‘numbers’ ignores fluidity and diversity of this population.
Moreover the word ‘sexual minorities’ actually refer to ‘practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society’ which includes sex workers, people practising BDSM and various kinks and fetishes, polyamorous practises, swinging. While all forms of sexual practises are equally valid, the term ‘sexual minorities’ is ambiguous and fails to address particularly people of diverse sexual orientations beyond heterosexuality. Sexuality is broad and covers a wide range of experiences and expressions related to sex and eroctica, while sexual orientation specifically means people’s identity based on what gender(s) they are sexually and romantically attracted to. BDSM, kinks, fetishes, polyamory, swinging, etc under the ‘sexual minorities’ umbrella are practised by people of all sexual orientations.
The term ‘sexual minorities’ is also discriminatory because in many parts of the world where relationships between people of different races isn’t a common practise, inter-racial relationships are also labeled as ‘sexual minorities’. Also, adults in relationships with an age disparity have also been labeled as ‘sexual minorities’. With such subjective language, in some societies, heterosexual couples having anal sex could also fall as ‘sexual minorities’ if anal sex is a taboo and not a mainstream practise.
One one hand sexual minorities are broad covering all sorts of sexual practises that aren’t considered to be ‘mainstream’ in practise and it is not specific to referring sexual orientations beyond heterosexuality, and on the other hand it is discriminatory to label any sexual practise as “other” and “minority” just because not practised in the mainstream society.
Similarly ‘gender minorities’ over-simplifies gender diversity. Such as the binary transgender population transmen and transwomen do not identify beyond the gender binary. But there is a misconception that being transgender is a completely different gender apart from male and female. This language further enables such social misconceptions.
There are many acronyms similar such as LGBT, LGBTIQ, LGBTIQAP, LGBTIQ+. We do not use these acronyms at all. These acronyms have been dropped off to use of broader vocabularies like ‘the queer population’, ‘PoMSOGIESEC’ or ‘MOGAI’. Use of acronyms such as LGBTI are dismissive and limiting. There are heavy criticisms about use of these vocabularies because it “defines” gender and sexuality beyond social norms being into “five specific categories” and this is also another form of boxing and limiting people. Due to excessive use of the acronym LGBTI, people have started to understand that LGBTI is a third gender, which is another blunder wrong narrative. Please do refer to the publications mentioned above to understand the concepts, language and diversity of SOGIESEC. LGBTI acronym not just creates another rigid idea of five limiting categories but also excludes a wide range of gender and sexual diversity such as asexual, pansexual, non-binary, etc. LGBTI is not an appropriate term to refer to this pride parade as.
Third Gender Rally (Samalingi Tesrolingi) ?
This Pride Parade isn’t a third gender (samalingi tesrolingi) rally. People who identify as third gender are definitely part of the queer umbrella, but this pride parade isn’t only about third gender individuals and about a broad spectrum of SOGIESEC diversity.
Gay Pride ?
This isn’t a Gay Pride. To refer this Pride Parade as Gay Pride is as reducive as refering it Third Gender Rally. Gay people are definately a part of the queer umbrella, but this wide range of diversity isn’t just about gay people.
- Please educate yourself. There are ample resources about these topics and many important ones have been linked in this press release. Information is a click away.
- Please do not report this event at all if you cannot address us appropriately or unlearn any of the socially dominant ideas rooted to our oppression. Please do not come for reporting if you are unwilling to unlearn and educate yourself. Please be aware that your one misinterpretation could also cost people’s life, add toll to an already existing burden of stigma and cause people to suffer. It is okay not to be covered over a media, rather than being covered with misleading or incorrect information that further contributes to add to an already existing misconceptions, stereotypes and stigma.
- Quoting/Interviewing individuals: Ask people for their pronouns. Do not assume anyone’s gender. Ask them how they’d like to be addressed. He/She/They/etc. Don’t impose a gendered language without asking them. In case such could not be possible, please use a gender neutral language.
- We are not clickbaits. Please do not consider queer people to be pleasure of the guilt. Refrain from asking questions that reproduce or stigmatize people for not fitting into social norms.
- Stop othering ! Stop portraying us as exceptional pieces ! Stop distorting !
Our core principles / non-negotiables:
- Gender and Sexuality as a spectrum – No boxes, No rigidity. Diversity, Spectrum and Fluidity and three key words.
- Intersectionality – All social struggles, oppressions and inequality matters. Caste system matters, Ethnic inequality matters, Indigenous rights matters, People with disabilities matter, all forms of social and institutional oppression matters.
- Diversity – We embrace diversity.
Some aspects of the Pride Parade:
- This pride parade is compltely youth-led, led by young people who identify in the queer sprectrum.
- This pride parade claims a seperate day to highlight people of marginalized sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
- Multi-Lingual. We will feature six native languages of Nepal and English in the banner of the Pride Parade. We strongly encourage people to create banners including diverse languages of Nepal.
- Using native place names. Last year in 2019, we started from Maitighar Mandala, reclaiming its native name Fibwa Khya.
- We use a wide range of Pride Flags resembling diverse queer identities. Please refer to this article about more information on Pride Flags.
Here are some terms for “Pride Parade” in different national languages of Nepal :
- Nepali : गौरव यात्रा
- Nepal Bhasa : 𑐐𑑁𑐬𑐧𑐫𑐵𑑅 / गौरबयाः
- Tamu (Gurung) : ङ्होईल्वुबये भ्रज्ञाँ
- Thangmi : ताङ्तिनी मानाइसा
- Limbu : ᤜᤣᤴᤇᤠᤶ ᤋᤱᤏᤠᤔ / हेन्छाम् तङ्नाम
- Central Tibetan (Dolpa, Mustang) : སྤོབས་པའི་ཁྲོམ་སྐོར Pobpei Tromkor
- Tamang : གཽརབལཱ་ཀུངླདཱིབ गौरबला कुङ्लदीब
Our Values for the Pride Parade
Despite we aren’t holding a physical pride parade, we’d still like to recall some of our values for the Pride Parade :-
- No organizational banner: A very common trend in rallies across Nepal is that people hold the banner of their organization and everyone from the organization stands behind it. This practise not just excludes people who do not belong to any organization, but keeps the observance centred to organizations. No organization is expected to bring banners to the pride parade, including the organizing teams. Pride Parade isn’t about organizational banners and standing behind it, it is about how we all come together from diverse intersections of gender and sexualities come together to celebrate and embrace this.
- No speech: This isn’t a Kon Sabha or a lecture. We don’t want anyone to doze off. There will be short announcements about when would we move, what is our route and also an announcement of departure.
- No special guests. We all are special. No celebrity culture or VIPs.
- No chantings. We are not on a protest. Music, Singing, Dancing and all ways of enjoying.
- No forms of harassment, abuse and violence is tolerated. No misgendering, No body shaming, No unwelcoming comments. Let’s all work together to make this space safe for everyone.
- No attempts of rainbow capitalism. No corporate co-opt shall be tolerated.
- No fundings from international donors, agencies, or government. We are not taking any sort of funding for anything of the pride parade. The funds are locally generated and resourced.
- What if someone shows up and passes a hateful remark? Call upon people. Lets gather around and chant for love. We will come up with some proper proposals for love chants the pride next year.
Please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any queries.