Nepal Census Now Offers 3 Gender Options

Good job Nepal!

“We had to put in a lot of pressure to have the third gender counted in the census,” said gender minority rights activist Sunil Babu Pant.

“It was only after we said that we would go to court that the officials agreed to include the third gender as a category.”

If the case had gone to court, it would likely have been upheld thanks to a landmark 2007 Supreme Court ruling that directed the state to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and decriminalize “unnatural sex.”

It also decreed the issue of citizenship certificates that clearly indicate an individual’s choice of gender identity.

…Among those happy to stand up and be counted in the third gender category is Dilu Buduja, 35. “I was born as a girl, but as I grew up I felt I was a boy. Today I totally feel like a man,” he said.

So I’m not entirely clear on who claims third gender status. Do people who are assigned one gender at birth but later realize they are a different gender (what Westerners would call trans people) consider themselves third gender? Do LGB people also consider themselves third gender? So many questions…

Kathmandu Pride!

Kathmandu Pride!


2 thoughts on “Nepal Census Now Offers 3 Gender Options

  1. Humans have various sex differences. In most cases, these are all in “agreement”. In cases where the various differences do not point to the same sex, or do not clearly point to either sex, or are in some way ambiguous, you end up with intersexuality.

    A few of these sex differences have been found in the brain. Several studies into the etiology of transgenderism have found that transpeople’s brains have features more typical of the norm in their non-anatomical sex. In this sense, at least, transgender people are intersex. (The WP article on causes of transsexualism [their title] discusses a bunch of the theories and provides links to studies, including those investigating brain structure.)

    How do societies handle intersex people? It depends. In some societies, intersex people are considered a third gender. In other societies, they are expected to adopt the gender role of one of the other two.

  2. Thank you for your comment Rob F. I am aware of intersexuality and have previously written about it.

    The impression I got from reading the article on Nepal was that people who Westerners would label as gay, lesbian, or trans were using the “third gender” option… I did not see much indication from the article that it is primarily intersex people choosing this option.

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