The government of Nepal has decided to issue citizenship cards that will allow those who do not identify as male or female to identify as a third gender. The new guidelines are a response to a 2007 court ruling in favour of activists in the country's queer community who had fought for the designation.
Sunil Babu Pant, who was the chief litigant in the court ruling and is Nepal's first openly gay politician, says the move is a “late but accurate implementation of the court order.”
The new identification cards will list a third option of “other” in the gender category.
Pant says the idea of a third sex or third gender is not new to Asian societies.
In the video interview below, done in 2009, Pant describes Nepal’s approach to trans issues, which he says differs greatly from the approach in the West, where identification as male or female seems to be more important.