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Nepal Issues 'Third Gender' Passport

Nepal Issues 'Third Gender' Passport


The Himalayan country joins only a handful of others in such support for transgender citizens.

Photo via WikiCommons/Alexander Sharif

Currently, Nepal is one of only eight countries that officially recognize third gender citizens (along with Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Thailand). However, despite first including third gender people on a census as far back as 2011, the Himalayan nation of 26.5 million recently marked an important milestone, issuing its first third gender passport.

According to Human Rights Watch, Monica Shahi made history when she received her passport with the designation O for "other," rather than M (Male) or F (Female). Despite recognition of third gender persons, only a handful of the above listed countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have issued corresponding passports.

While it is possible that Shahi will face difficulty traveling to places hostile to trans people, her newly-issued documentation is an important sign of progress in Nepal and Asia as a whole.

[H/T Gay Star News]

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