As a Nepalese-born gay man who’s suffered discrimination – and watched others close to me also suffer because of that – I’ve everything to gain from supporting a local gay rights NGO as well as a South Asian gay games that this NGO is organizing for Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. What compels me then to call on the international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identified (LGBTI) community across the globe to boycott the games and why should I denounce their chief organizer as a phony?
The NGO concerned is Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society (BDS). This organization was spawned a decade ago in a whirlpool of national politics when overnight the small Himalayan kingdom was precariously yet peaceably transformed, not just into a republic, but an inclusive one could potentially embrace the country’s remote populations, its multiple ethnicities, its women, and its social minorities.
The BDS was the brainchild of Sunil Babu Pant (nicknamed ‘Smelly Panties’ behind his back) the objects of which were dedicated ostensibly to attainment of civil equality for Nepal’s historically oppressed sexual minorities. Given the reality that vestiges of feudalism and patriarchy would persist in Nepal’s national psyche long after the monarchy’s removal, it was predictable that the BDS would court controversy. Althoughpolitical modernisation has successfully unpeeled layers of tradition in several areas of Nepalese life, the country’s LGBTI people are still largely ignored and unrepresented.
The political activism of the BDS has frequently caught spotlights in international human rights advocacy circles. It’s also heightened Nepalese awareness of the existence (and plight) of sexual minorities. Paradoxically, the everyday quality of life for Nepal’s LGBTI people stays unchanged – in fact, their oppression might be worsening. While this turnaround can be partly attributed to the fragility of Nepal’s neonate democracy, the organization’s corporate dysfunction, disturbing...