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Discover Gay Nepal with Kathmandu local boy Tilak

Discover Gay Nepal with Kathmandu local boy Tilak

Before arriving in Nepal, we expected it to be another very socially conservative South Asian country like the Maldives and Sri Lanka, where gayness is a crime.

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:

Nepal Immigration Arrival Card

Nepal Immigration Arrival card with new tick box of “Other” 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.

Gay Nepal

Pleasant surprise for us: Nepal is quite a gay friendly destination, particularly by South Asian standards

 

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!)

Gay Nepal: out on the town in Kathmandu

Gay Nepal: discovering Kathmandu’s gay night life with Adheep and friends

 

#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.

Fire club in Kathmandu

Fire club in Kathmandu has a gay friendly night on Fridays

 

#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. 
Banner hotels for nepal

#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.

Gay pride in Kathmandu

Gay pride in Kathmandu during the Gaijatra festival

Another popular event is a gay beauty contest called Mr Gay Handsome held every June in Kathmandu:

Mr Handsome Nepal

Mr Handsome Nepal gay beauty contest 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:

Newar women saris

Saris worn by the Newari women

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40 Comments

  1. Awwwwww, i need to admaire seby’s photo first, hahahahaaaaaaah.

    I’m glad to hear your guy’s interesting joural in Nepal.
    Nepal is really good place , starting by its third gender tick box on the arrival card. haha .. Its really open-mind for an Asian country i think… And it seems there are plenty of cute guys in Nepal from your nightout photo, so envy 😉

    greeting from China 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Leox!

      Reply
  2. Cool post. I want to go to the Mr Handsome show!! 🙂

    Reply
    • LOL we too!!!

      Reply
  3. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this web page! My partner/husband and I are travelling to Kathmandu in a couple of months and wondered about the culture there and it’s views on same sex relationships! You all look like you had a fantastic time there! 😀

    Reply
    • Hi Paul thank you for your message. You will love Nepal- it was our favourite place on our travels. Will you be doing any trekking there?

      Reply
  4. Would love to have contacts in Nepal due to the devastating earthquake so that we know where to channel aid. Hope to go there personally to assist in the coming months. Cheers, John

    Reply
    • Nice one John 🙂

      Reply
  5. Nice pics .

    Unfortunate , Very sad that Nepal gone to rubble due to the natural calamity. Really shocked to see that. I don’t know whether the author of this page returned back from Nepal or not. Sir, Are you safe?.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your message Ram. Yes we are fine.

      Reply
  6. How are things in Kathmandu, three months after the quake?

    Reply
    • Generally they are ok from what we hear from friends there, but homes completely destroyed. So so sad to see this happen to such a beautiful country!

      Reply
  7. Would you say that teenage guys in Nepal probably have had at least fleeting gay experiences even if hetero

    Reply
    • Maybe – but no different then us?

      Reply
  8. I love Nepal so much, that’s why I visit this beautiful country every year. They re very kind and welcome to you from their heart. Nepali Boys are cute and I make relationship with one of them . it s the most great moment in my life.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment and fully agree with you. Whereabouts are you from?

      Reply
  9. I too am a gay living in Kathmandu and i am too in my 20s. It’s almost the same for me as tilak, but i have yet to disclose it to my parents though. I am sure they would be supportive as well. I have shared it to few of my friends and they have proven to be so supportive. I have yet to find a guy for me. Well it’s like this…. Almost all of them are straight!!! And the ones those aren’t straight are only up for something physical or hookups (the ones i have met so far…) And there are many who are too shy to come out. Although people are starting to support a person being gay, many are still afraid or shy to come out. It’s mostly because of our culture as well. It is still a “taboo” to almost all of the elderly people.
    There is also a misconception among people here that being gay means being a transgender. Most people neglect the fact that being gay doesn’t necessary means being a transgender. And another misconception is a gay is someone who “acts” very “girlish” and a man who is in touch with his feminine side more than he needs to be… Well to me thats just an offensive stereotype…
    I am very thankful to NGO like ‘Blue diamond society’ who are fighting for people like me and many others who choose to live this life style.
    It’s great that the nee constitution has some laws in favor of us but as long as the people of the country stay closed and traditional to their thoughts about love, marriage and sex it will be hard for a openly gay person to live normally in this society.

    Reply
    • Hi Baibhav thanks so much for your message. This is awful to hear. What sort of laws does the constitution have in favour please?

      Reply
      • Well the states gay marriages legal. It was legalised before at the previous constitution. Sorry i seriously do not follow politics and changing constitution. But as far as i know gay marriage has been legalised. 🙂 (yay!)….. But it doesn’t change much though. Even though gay marriage is legalised, i have not heard even one gay couple getting married. And even if there was one that i missed i am not sure if the society accepts their marriage… The people yet have to grow out of their traditional ways of thinking and accept the many changes happening in the society… Until that happens no matter what the law says it’s still going to be considered an ill-spoken Taboo.

        Reply
        • hey, I am also having similar problem like you. I am gay but out of valley.

          Reply
        • hey baibhav wats ur facebook id i want to add u. i am to gay

          Reply
          • my facebook name is Baibhav shrestha 🙂

    • Hi Baibhav would you like to be my friend???

      Reply
  10. It is hard to come out as gay in nepal because nepalese people still thinks that transgender and crossdresser are gays and gayism is a sin or psycological disorder. But it is great to know that nepal government is supporting gays.

    Reply
    • Agreed 🙂

      Reply
  11. Dear Sahil Shrestha,
    Soon i will visit nepal for the first time coming from europe. I would be happy to get some info from you about traveling in your beautiful country. So could you give me your facebook id or emailadres? Then i may chat with you directly. Thanks and regards Eric

    Reply
    • Hi Eric, I’ve just emailed you, introducing you to Shree.

      Reply
    • hi you most welcome to nepal

      Reply
      • Thanks Ramesh 🙂

        Reply
    • Hi Eric I’m myth from Nepal Kathmandu so did u visit to nepal or still not

      Reply
  12. I love my Nomadic boys, always giving great tips and informative interviews with locals.
    I’m coming to Nepal on the 1st of September travelling around a bit, but mostly based in Kathamandu. If any local guy wants to get in touch I’ll buy you a beer if you take me a good gay friendly bar 🙂

    Reply
    • You’re sure to have an amazing time 🙂

      Reply
  13. Hello!

    This article was a really good read, and the comments are very interesting. I noticed the ‘other’ gender as we arrived.

    I am here from England, and arrived here yesterday to the great surprise of the pride event!

    It was amazing to walk proudly with so many people, and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting some of the organisers of Blue Diamond. It was a truly special day.

    I am here two more nights, and would love to know if there are any LGBTQI+ bars/clubs that I could visit!

    Maybe someone is going, and would invite me along too?

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Thank you

    Asher

    Reply
    • Oh how cool – do let us know if you do 🙂

      Reply
  14. Namaste ,
    Good article Tilak , and Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Greetings from Dalmatia
    Love and Peace

    Reply
    • 🙂

      Reply
      • Hello Stefan,
        Great article and comments. I will be visiting Kathmandu in March.
        Is the Fire Club still meeting every Friday?
        Would love to know!
        Richard, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

        Reply
        • Actually don’t know but would love an update from you after your trip in March 🙂

          Reply
  15. I try to be friendly with some Nepal guys,they are very friendly & sweet but then they changebmind like scared or something, I like their looks can I gets to know real nice guys,never married,alone in USA,never feel this before,help..

    Reply
    • Agreed – they are lovely guys!

      Reply

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