Born in a Nepalese society, it is natural that most of us are taught only about heterosexual activities in Nepal if there was anything we were taught about sex. Sexual minorities are treated pretty bad back in Nepal. They find it hard to survive amid the staring eyes of people which are full of discrimination and scorn. Even in US, homosexual activities are not acceptable to many people. They are humiliated and ridiculed. So, it is understandable that Nepalese society cannot get along with such ideas.
But, are they not the people like us? Don't they have a heart like we do? Don't they have the right to choose their sexual partner? We all agree that they should be given rights in word, but when it comes to reality, many of us just tend to discriminate the sexual minorities. However, there is one organization in Nepal which works for the sexual minorities. Founded in 2001, it aims to address the issues that relate to Meta, Dohori, Ta, Gay, Bisexual, lesbian, Hijra, Singaru, Fulumulu, Kothi, Kotha, Strian and so forth.
Frankly, I don't even know what all these groups are about. I am still trying to find out these different groups. BDS has been working for these sexual minorities since its inception. Thus, BDS is not just for homosexuals, but also for all these groups mentioned before. It is hard to work in Nepal under such pressure from the society against homosexual activities. And yet, BDS has several objectives. The official site of BDS writes about the objectives:
To foster unity amongst sexual minorities
To combat the spread of STIs/HIV amongst sexual minorities
To improve the socio-economic conditions of sexual minorities
To create awareness and sensitize law makers and general population on advocacy issues and change/make the law pro sexual minorities
To materialize these aims, BDS organizes activities like:
· Outreach education on HIV/AIDS, sexuality, safer sex, etc, to the different cruising sites in Kathmandu where MSM magnitude is high.
· Psychosexual counseling and HIV counseling to the MSM
· Regular advocacy program: campaigns, rallies, discussions, interaction program with different stakeholders, etc.
· Support group
· Legal support to the MSM with the collaboration of FWLD
Its major aim is to create an environment in Nepal which accepts people of different sexual orientations. However, there seems to be a long way to go before we can transform ourselves to accept them. And yet, I believe we should be able to respect the choice of people. We, as a society, should be able to respect the choice these people make. This can fall for our brothers and sisters too. So, let us end all sorts of discriminations based on sexual orientations and create an environment where all can co-exist with peace.
(based on: bds.org.np)