With the advancement in technology many new and innovative things are invented by humans on regularly basis. When we say human not only male and female but different genders like lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual exist to the society under the umbrella term of LGBTI. The different gender discussed here is the transgender, which is also called as the third gender in today’s context.
A 21 year world, Bhumika Shrestha, want her to be identified as a transgender but neither a girl nor a boy. A transgender is a different sex to the society. She is confident, young and an enthusiastic person who is fighting on behalf of other transgender person like her for their advocacy rights to be legalized by the government of Nepal. Bhumika is a member of Blue Diamond Society (B.D.S) which is an organization for sexual minorities in Nepal. Today, coming out from the barriers and instead of hiding about her sexuality, with full confidence she says: “Yes I’m a transgender”.
In 2044, Poish 29, Bhumika was born in Naikab, Kathmandu. Bhumika with her elder brother is living with her parents and she has a full support from her family. Earlier she was known as Kailash Shrestha before being a transgender.
Born as a boy, Kailash Shrestha later changed his name to Bhumika Shrestha. 21 years ago when she was born she was a boy whose wishes and behaviour was completely like a female. Wearing her sisters’ skirts and dancing was her favourite pass time. With these feminist features, earlier Bhumika was attracted to a boy more than a girl.
Bhumika recalls by saying: At the age of eleven, “Instead of I being attracted to a girl I was more attracted to boys”. At this point Bhumika knew she was different then anybody. Dressed like girls, doing make-ups made bhumika to be more into the circles of girls rather than boys. This made girls as her closer friend’s rather then boys so it made sharing of her feelings easier to girls. Bhumika’s friends used to tell “You are behaving like a girl”. This was also clicked in her mind earlier but by nature bhumika was shy.
In school she didn’t get along with boys. She used to show girlish characters by dressing up like a girl, doing make-ups, having long hair, wearing nail polish. These behaviours made her disliked by her teachers. Thus, she was expelled from her school and she didn’t want to continue her education further.
Turn in life:
One day Bhumika was waiting Vehicle at the Ratnapark station on her way to home. Sanjeev Gurung who was previously a field officer and now the President of Blue Diamond Society met her. By looking at Bhumika, Sanjeev felt that she was a transgender and told her about the organization B.D.S. There she met many people who were just similar like her and compelled her to share her feeling and experiences of being a transgender. Through the organization, bhumika then took part in various social programs creating awareness, talking about sexual minorities and human rights programs. Then Bhumika after actively participating in many programs like these she then built up her confidence and then started raising the issue of advocacy right for herself and for the people just like her. This organisation proved to be a milestone in choosing a career as an advocacy rights to BDS member. In addition, Blue Diamond Society helped her in taking part in the “Miss Pink Pageant” Competition in the year 2007, for the Nepal’s gay beauty contest last year and won the title . And after winning the competition Bhumika got the opportunity to represent herself in “Miss International Queen”2007 in Thailand. She was contending against 21 transvestites/transgenders from 15 countries in the final round. Though she could not get the title but gained a lot of experience meeting transgender from different countries. But Bhumika still feels that she has much more to do for the advocacy right of the transgender and she will continue to fight for the rights of the transgender people.
On December 21,2007, the Supreme Court passed on a bill stating that the transgender people have the right to get the citizenship certificate according to their identity as a transgender. They were also accredited to rights equal to those provisioned for male and female. Additionally, they were also entitled to property rights and other facilities.
Bhumika feels that transgender are treated as inferior beings and are discriminated in every walk of life. She adds that the police also treat them unfairly on the grounds that they show obscene behaviour. Though in the recent years, through awareness programs many people have come to know about them and have helped them. Bhumika ensures that it will take some years to create full awareness so that transgender people can also live a respectable life.
Name- Bhumika Shrestha (Kailash Shrestha)
D.O.B- poush 29, 2044
Education- Grade 10(not completed)
Address- Naicab, Kathmandu, Nepal
Interest- making friends and travelling
Activities- Miss Pink pageant (17th may, 2007) held in Nepal and Miss International Queen 2007(Thailand), and social programs.
A transgender can be both male and female by birth. “Trans” means “change” and “Gender” means “sex”. Transgender is not a gay, having sex with the gay people. For example: it’s a person who turned his sex organ to male/female and has sex with only a normal man/woman and not even with a gay or other transgender person who have changed their sex organ. Today, surgery can be the easy medium to change the sex organ. But it’s not possible in Nepal.
Bhumika is a transgender. I’m normal like everyone but I don’t want to be called as a boy neither a girl but simply a transgender.
Being a transgender:
To be transgender is not an easy and it is not by birth but a magic and the wondrous thing. With the advancement of modern technology and in modern age, there is a facility of surgery and therefore we are fortunate generations of truly gaining the rightful bodies as compared to the past generations. “I cherish being a transgender” says Bhumika.
Why Advocacy rights?
For the end of discrimination, Nepal’s new constitution must ensure the rights of sexual minorities. “We are like any other Nepali, so we have every right to get the citizenship card” says- Bhumika. For example: in airport it’s really difficult because I’m a male dressed as a female. It’s difficult for anyone to belive me as Bhumika. So we need our identity.