Stefan Arestis | Nov 25, 2017 | 8
Discover Gay Nepal with Kathmandu local boy Tilak
But the reality for gay Nepal turned out to be quite different. In September 2015, the Nepalese government announced that the new constitution would enshrine laws protecting discrimination against the LGBT community.
Nepal is also one of the few countries, which recognises the transgender community. For example, on arrival at the airport, we noticed the arrival card contained a third “Other” tick box for a person’s sex:
And by South Asian standards, Nepal is ahead of the pack: it was the first country (in South Asia) to decriminalise homosexuality in 2007. Laws are also slowly being prepared to allow gay marriage and give gay couples the right to adopt, buy joint property and inherit from one another.
HOW IS IT TO BE GAY IN NEPAL?
We met a local boy in Kathmandu who asked us to keep his identity anonymous, so we used the common Nepalese name, Tilak. Tilak told us a bit about gay Nepal and the gay scene in Kathmandu.
#01 Namaste Tilak and welcome to our blog. Please introduce yourself:
Good evening Nomadic Boys. I am Tilak, 29 years old Nepali social worker living in Kathmandu.
#02 Are you openly gay?
I am out to my immediate family (parents, siblings), close friends and some colleagues including my boss. I am lucky to have open minded parents They are extremely supportive and have no issues with it, but have asked me to be discrete to avoid ‘society’ gossiping.
I haven’t told anyone else, but may be they have figured it out. After all, I live in a society, where marriage is the norm: I am now in my 30s and I am still not married (quelle horreur!)
#03 What’s it like for a gay boy growing up in Kathmandu?
Nepal is a socially conservative family. Boys are expected to eventually marry in Hindu culture and gayness is not particularly accepted.
But Kathmandu has become more international and touristy over the years because of the trekking industry, which has helped shift attitudes a bit and make it easier for the younger generation.
#04 Tell us about gay Nepal: what’s the gay scene like?
There isn’t much of a scene outside Kathmandu and gays used mobile phone apps like Grindr and Scruff to connect with each other.
In Kathmandu, there are gay friendly clubs like Fire, which has a gay night on Friday evening.
#05 Are there any gay friendly hotels you recommend in Kathmandu or Nepal in general?
For Kathmandu, based on the opinions of gay friends from abroad who’ve visited Nepal, I would recommend any of these hotels:
HOTEL HOLY HIMALAYA Book online
- This is the only hotel in Kathmandu who advertises itself as a gay-friendly hotel.
- Located in the tourist center of Kathmandu,Thamel, where all the action happens.
- Prices start from $30 / £20 for a double room.
FIND A ROOM WITH MISTER BNB Book online
- You will experience a more authentic local experience with your gay host(s).
- You can find rooms from $20 / £15 a night in a beautiful villa.
HYATT REGENCY KATHMANDU Book online
- A brand, welknown for its strong LGBT focus.
- Located near Boudhanath Stupa, a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Prices start from $180 / £120 per night.
#06 Are there any popular gay pride events in Nepal?
There is an annual pride parade held sometime in August/September on the day of Gaijatra (a local Nepali festival of cows). The turnout is pretty high for Nepalese standards.
Another popular event is a gay beauty contest called Mr Gay Handsome held every June in Kathmandu:
#07 Finally, are there any particular styles of saris you recommend for our next night out in Kathmandu?
Any type of saree would do; they’re awesome! But my favourite is the saree worn by the Newar women: