Not so sure this is good news. Third sex,gender catagories have been used as a tool of oppression in these cultures. This has the potential of further marking an already marginilised minority
The very public relations conscious Nepalese gay MP, Mr Pant, upon whose press release this story is obviously based, simply refuses to answer when questioned about this issue. One wonders quite what agenda he is pushing on this, especially given that he he learned his sexual politics in Germany, and is advised by US LGB groups, who do not seem to want LGB people classed as a third gender. So is it trans people they see as third gender?
One has to see this in the context of trans people in many countries still having to fight to be legally recognised at all as their true gender. Not least in Thailand. And in parts of India acceptance of a “third gender” legal class has suddenly become required in order to access sex change treatment in government hospitals, or to have the vote. For those who innately identify as the opposite gender to that pronounced at their birth, that is a disaster, apparently brought about by hot-headed activists ignoring the needs of others, and politicians…
…failing to understand the diversity of the sexual minorities. Which is a problem not confined to that region.
The Nepalese Supreme Court ruled that the person’s own gender identity should be used, in a case where there were trans plaintiffs, possibly transsexual – there certainly are some prominent transsexual activists in the country. But are they allowed to actually do that, with a trans-to-female person allowed to state “female”, or are Mr Pant’s colleagues forcing them to accept “third gender” instead? To do so would be a gross breach of their human rights.
There are people who identify as third gender, but usually only a very small number. There are also some who identify as having no gender; what are they supposed to choose on a form offering “male”, “female”, and “third”?
We in countries where we have access to more rights have a responsibility to stand up for our sisters elsewhere, and really deserve some answers instead of just more press releases.
Very appropriate, considering the anthropological phenomenon of hijras and third sex that occurs around the region of the Indian sub-continent, although I would prefer it to happen first in India itself.