हिमाली स्वरहरु – Week long Media Campaign on the occasion of IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) 2010

Week long Media Campaign on the occasion of IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) 2010

admin May 14, 2010 5

Dear Media friends

Week long Media Campaign on the occasion of IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) 2010

In 342 AD the first law against homosexual marriage was imposed by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans and by the year 390, the Christian emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius I and Arcadius declared homosexual sex to be illegal and those who were guilty of it were condemned to be burned alive in front of the public. Modern history has seen many different views and quite a few more atrocities inflicted upon the LGBTQ community (e.g. NAZI Germany) and individuals such as King Edward II in 1327 (reportedly killed with a hot poker up the rectum) and Oscar Wilde being imprisoned for two years in 1895.

Despite being tolerant society through out the history, Nepalese LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Third genders and Inter-sex people) have experienced similar violence and abuse including rape, beating and impressment by the security forces until 3 year ago. In Dec 2007 Supreme Court Of Nepal gave a landmark verdict saying LGBTI people are natural and deserve equal rights. Court ordered the government to issues legal ID to third genders according to their gender identity and amend all discriminatory laws and policies against LGBTIs which government has not showing any interest to implement these apex court orders so far.

The Stonewall riots in 1969 marked a turning point for a community of people who no longer believed that they should have to live a secret and ILLEGAL lifestyle, merely to gain a fraction of the happiness many of us now take for granted. It was not until 1990 that the UN took homosexuality from the registry of mental illnesses. Every time one person walks under the rainbow flag we stand to correct this injustice and as much as we should celebrate our new found political freedom, I hope we can all take a moment to realise the cost.

May 17th is symbolic due to its significance in the improvement of the status of gays and lesbians.IDAHO proposed this date for annually holding a day set aside to fight homophobia. In removing homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses on a May 17, the World Health Organisation (WHO) put an end to over a century of homophobia in the medical field.

Borne out of the International Conference on LGBT Community Human Rights held in Montréal from July 26 to 29, 2006, prior to the opening of the first World Outgames, the Declaration of Montréal included a recommendation to have an International Day Against Homophobia on May 17 of each year recognised.

Blue Diamond Society has been celebrating IDAHO every year since 2006 with different events each year like candle lights or panel discussion at Nepal bar association in 2007 or rally in 2008 or discussion on DAHO in various offices of LGBT CBOs in Nepal in 2009. With the same sex marriage committee drafting the law to recognize same sex relationship and new constitution being drafted 2010 is very crucial year for Nepal and Nepalese LGBTI and our families, friends and anybody who believes in human rights and full freedom.

Blue Diamond Society is calling your support and participation to for a week long media campaign from 11-17 May 2010. This media campaign will end on 17th May by sharing the experience of these 10 journalists on LGBTI lives, laws, and policies, attitudes of public and significance of IDAHO in Nepalese context while drafting constitution and implementing apex court order in regards to LGBTI rights. The experience sharing will be during the Premiere of the film “Beauty and Brain in Action” made by British film maker Katherine Donald (view the trailer at http://vimeo.com/9730895) which will be followed by discussion. Leaders, Policy makers, media, artists and civil society members will be invited at the premiere at Akademy Hall, Kamaladi on 17th May at 3 PM. The Première of the documentary film is supported by British Embassy, Kathmandu.

For more information:









We like to call our Media partners and friends to support this week long media campaign by printing, airing and broadcasting news, views, articles and stories on Nepali LGBTIs and IDAHO from today.

Thank you for your support and solidarity.

Best regards

Sunil Pant


Invitation to join LGBT film premiere

Beauty and Brains in Action to Tackle Stigma and Discrimination: A ground breaking documentary that tells rarely told stories.

On behalf of the blue Diamond Society I am very happy and extremely proud to announce the release of a documentary film sponsored by one of our most ground breaking projects, “Beauty and Brains in Action” that tackles Stigma and Discrimination”.

When the World Bank called for unique projects to tackle stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and vulnerable populations like Transgender, Men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDUs), sex workers, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). A thought struck me, “Why not use the beauty and brains of Nepalese third genders (transgenders) to tackle stigma and discrimination?” Working for more than ten (10) year on HIV and Human rights I have realized that the traditional way of delivering messages have become solemn, sad and not appealing to vulnerable populations especially to youth. The HIV prevention massages have been emphasized fear and the threat of disease.

The younger generation is looking for something appealing like beauty, music, fashion, talent, courage, honesty, dignity, responsibility, space, boldness, creativity, art, fun and intelligence. So the concept of mobilizing beautiful and talented third genders was something unique that, through this project, would get a forum to present themselves with dignity and tackle stigma and discrimination in a creative, interesting and fun way. The goals behind this idea were: 1) To tackle stigma and discrimination in interesting and fun way by reaching a mass audience 2) To give a forum to the marginalized population so that they could come out to Nepali society with dignity.

We wrote the concept of holding “Beauty and Brains in Action” to tackle HIV Stigma and Discrimination ” talent contest and applied to the World Bank for its South Asian Market Development Place grant. The proposal was awarded to hold a five (5) regional talent contest and one grand finale.

We conducted the regional talent contest and grand finale. We knew it would be successful, but we didn’t know that the locals would respond to the contest so positively. The messages we were able to communicate were overwhelmingly far-reaching and the acceptance of the transgender community turned out to be incredibly positive by their families, societies, media and policy-makers.

Many other extraordinary results included positive self-perception and self-esteem of third genders,and to make a dignifies, skillful presentation to the public. The public’s perception not only around HIV and AIDS, but also in regard to MSM/TG, Sex workers, PLWHA, IDUs, Migrants, safer sex, using condom, HIV virus, STD transmission became clearer.

The project’s implementation (training, contests) were documented by Catherine Donaldson and her international film crew. Ms. Donaldson, is an experienced and talented documentary filmmaker,Her crew followed the events and the characters, bringing the third gender’s personal journey from being disowned by families and communities, to acceptance; from sexual abuse to family support; from being victims of violence to becoming a voice for the voiceless; and from self-hatred to dignity. The personal story of each and every person presented in this documentary provides an inspirational story of struggle that gives positive messages and hope to younger generations.

As Catherine writes at http://vimeo.com/9765509 (see two minutes trailer):

“To be third-gender in Nepal means a choice of three careers; giving blessing at weddings, begging or prostitution. They are excluded from family and school, are prey to security forces, blackmail and sexual abuse. However, as Nepal attempts to write a new constitution there is a chance of change. In order to be heard above the clamor and civil unrest, the third-genders with Sunil Pant and the Blue Diamond Society embarked on the Beauty and Brains Talent Contest. This is the story of a community gaining the confidence to confront prejudice and tell society they are natural human beings.”

This is truly a timeless documentary and focuses on a hidden reality present in each and every society. It is a truly remarkable documentary. The documentary will

Be premiered in May 17, Pragya Hall (Academy Hall), Kamladi, Kathmandu Nepal. Time: 3:00 PM sharp

Sunil B Pant

Member of Constituent Assembly and Parliament
Kathmandu Nepal
Ph:+977 1 4443350
Cell: +977 9851067959
Fax:+977 1 4438600
GPO Box: 8975, EPC No: 5119
Kathmandu, Nepal

Do not print this mail unless really necessary. Save paper, save trees, save the planet…



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