Independent News from Alternative Sources
Nepal has started issuing passports to applicants who wish to be identified as ‘other’ in the gender category in their passports following an amendment of passport regulations earlier this year.
Nepal’s Department of Passports has revealed that it has issued its first passport in which the applicant’s gender is marked ‘other’.
The applicant, who has yet to collect the passport, has been identified in media reports as Manoj Shahi who now prefers to be known as Monica Shahi after undergoing gender reassignment surgery, according to the Himalaya Times.
To apply for a passport that states the applicant’s gender as ‘other’, the person must first have a citizenship certificate showing a similar status.
Pinky Gurung, chairperson of the Blue Diamond Society, said this was a milestone in their movement, particularly for the transgender people.
‘It’s great that the other category in citizenship has been extended to passport ,’ she was quoted as saying on eKantipur.com. ‘This is a historic moment.’
Nepal first recognized and allowed for applicants to identify as third gender in the census and citizenship card in 2011. In January this year, the provision was extended to passports.
India, Australia and New Zealand are known to also allow applicants to list their gender as neither male nor female.
Author: Sylvia Tan