Read this in: Khas (Nepali), Nepala Bhasa
Trans Pride Parade began from the year 2020. It is celebrated annually on the following Saturday of December 17. December 17 in 2018 was the day when the term ‘transgender‘ was introduced in Nepali language. The term is ‘pāralaingik‘. Prior to this, the term ‘transgender‘ didn’t exist in Nepali language which had caused derogatory and wrongful refering of trans people. Marking this linguistic landmark on 17 Dec 2018, we celebrate Trans Pride Parade the following Saturday.
As 17 Dec may fall on weekdays, we decided to choose a weekend to allow more flexible day to encourage participation and ease traffic. In case 17 December itself is a Saturday, we organize Pride on the same day.
The hashtags for Trans Pride Parade are:-
- #TransPrideNepal(year) – such as for the year 2022 – #TransPrideNepal2022
- Upcoming Trans Pride Parade is on 17 December 2022, B.S. 2079 Paush 2, N.S. 1143 Thinla 29 (Saturday)
Events on Facebook
Transgender people are largely marginalized and misunderstood in Nepal. While it is said that the ‘LGBTI movement’ in Nepal started since 2001, transgender people and their issues have always been sidelined. Nepal has people speaking more than 123 languages. However the state follows monolingualism where Nepali language written in Devanagari Script is the official language of the whole country. Although with the commencement of the ‘LGBTI movement’, the English term ‘transgender’ was introduced in Nepal – with lack of any terminologies in Nepali language resulted in widespread mis-information about being trans. Many people started to see being transgender as ‘third gender’.
Language reflects its society. The patriarchy of a society is reflected in its language. The misogyny of a society is reflected in its language. The caste system of society is reflected in its language. Therefore as a cisnormative heteronormative society, our languages in Nepal did not have traditional vocabularies that could allow an open, inclusive and accepting conversation about diverse sexualities and genders.
Trans men are ‘men’ and Trans women are ‘women’ and therefore with lack of vocabulary, trans people had been compelled to be referred as ‘tesrolingi‘ (third gender). However with the introduction of the term ‘pāralaingik‘ by the community itself caters the transgender population, particularly trans men and trans women who identify as men and women respectively.
Semantics has a lots of impact on how the trans population is perceived, understood and how the legal rights of trans people can further advance. Prior when the term wasn’t introduced, the semantics of ‘third gender‘ itself suggested that the ‘gender’ is not man or woman. However with introduction to the term ‘pāralaingik‘ in Nepali language allowed for a broader legal advocacy where trans men could claim their identity as a man and trans women could claim their identity as a woman.
Therefore this linguistic establishment has been essential for the trans population. The term ‘pāralaingik‘ in Nepali language was introduced trans rights activists & individuals and is owned by the community. The term was taken forward during legal advocacy first of all by Rukshana Kapali, followed by Noor KC, a fellow trans woman and Sagun Thapa, a fellow trans man as well as other two trans men Aaayan Thapaliya and one from Rupandehi who’d like his name private. Many civil society organizations have also adopted the use of the term.
Trans people, in particular trans men and trans women not just face transphobia, discrimination and stigma from cisgender heterosexual population, but also within the ‘LGBTIQ+ movement’. The transgender rights activism is a movement of its own and it shouldn’t always be seen as a sub-set of the ‘LGBTIQ+’ movement.
Therefore, the Trans Pride Parade in Nepal is to highlight the issues, rights and visibility of trans men and trans women, and more largely observe as a celebration.