Adheep and Tobi on the day of their marriage in Malsch, Germany. There was no option for them to get married in Nepal because the country’s legal system has only imagined marriage between opposite sexes. Photo courtesy: Bhojraj Pokharel
Adheep and Tobi on the day of their marriage in Malsch, Germany. There was no option for them to get married in Nepal because the country’s legal system has only imagined marriage between opposite sexes. Photo courtesy: Bhojraj Pokharel

“Yes, our son is gay”: A Nepali father’s awakening

A path-breaking personal essay calling for social acceptance and full rights for Nepal’s LGBTIQ+ community

Translator's note: In December 2007, Nepal's Supreme Court, ruling on the landmark case of Sunil Babu Pant and Others vs. Government of Nepal, decided to decriminalise homosexuality. Despite this legal victory, gaining social acceptance for Nepal's gender and sexual minorities remains a struggle, as does improving society's understanding of the complex challenges they face.

I chose to translate this essay to contribute to the public's sensitisation on LGBTIQ+ issues. The original article, published in Nepali by Kantipur (Koseli) on 25 March 2023, stands out for several reasons. It's written by Bhojraj Pokharel, a former Chief Election Commissioner and an influential leader of Nepal's civil society. Fifteen years after the Supreme Court verdict, an entire generation has come of age in a rapidly transforming world. Nepal's LGBTIQ+ movement has matured, with numerous young people coming out online and offline. Yet the older generation still seems stuck in the past. Pokharel's words provide much-needed guidance to those struggling in confusion and hope to those committed to justice and equality. His message deserves to be heard beyond the Nepali-speaking world even as it continues to ripple through Nepali society.

Loading content, please wait...