Hundreds join Nepal's first gay pride parade

Published: August 25, 2010

KATHMANDU: As stricken relatives huddled at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital  on Wednesday for the post-mortem of the 14 people killed in a plane crash in Nepal on Tuesday to be over and to be handed over the mangled body parts for last rites, the republic’s victimised gay community began celebrating a centuries-honoured rite to exorcise grief that gradually became a tool to expose society’s foibles and now, is also the lesbian, gay and transgender community’s march for equality.

Dozens of young men and women, dressed in costumes, masks and animal ensembles, marched in a gay pride reminding one of the Mardi Gras celebrations in Brazil. Organised under the aegis of Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s pioneering gay rights organisation, the march, now in its ninth year, has grown from strength to strength since its inception when the participants hid their faces behind masks for fear of being identified.

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