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Bibek Bhandari


Living Gay: A Perspective from Nepal (Part 1)

Posted: 07/19/2012 6:36 pm

For 26 years, he lived as a man.

But in 2008, Krishna Thapa, now known as Jyoti, finally had the courage to live as who he feels: as a woman.

Thapa, now 30, is a transgender woman who identifies herself as third gender, who do not identify themselves as male or female, or who chooses a different gender identity to what they were assigned during birth.

An LGBTI activist now, Thapa advocated about the subject starting from her family and then her community.

Thapa says she is lucky to be accepted for who she is.

Listen to the mp3 below while you view photos in the following slideshow:

Loading Slideshow...
  • When I was about seven years old, the time when you start school...

  • My interests were different than my [male] friends. I was never interested in what they did. (0:05.5)

  • It was the same in the house too. While others went and played outside ... (0:12.1)

  • I rejoiced staying indoors, being with my mother and sisters. I had fun being amid them. (0:17.3)

  • So it was during that time, when I was about seven or eight years old ... (0:23.7)

  • I knew I was different than others. But I really didn't know how was I different. (0:30.4)

  • I realized that I was like this-- a little different-- after my tenth grade. (0:36.6)

  • It was during high school that I had come to know. But I hadn't really disclosed to anyone. (0:43.9)

  • And it was after my undergrad years in college that I told my family about myself. ( 0:50)

  • And after I was accepted by my family, I thought I should open up to the society as well and told them about my identity and rights. (0:57.5)

  • No one can look down on us; we all are humans and should be treated equal. That's how I expressed myself. (1:06.9)

  • My birth name is Krishna Thapa. I changed my name into a female name for this Beauty and Brain [transgender] beauty contest in 2008. (1:15.6)

  • The main reason behind renaming myself Jyoti is because Jyoti means giving light, isn't it? (1:23.3)

  • [I want to] lighten up the place where its dark; spread knowledge where there is ignorance, and rise as a ray of knowledge. (1:29.6)

  • Even if I can't do anything big, at least from where I am, I have made an effort. (1:39)

  • People like me should have their own identity. As a human being, we should have equal rights. (1:46.3)

  • I have started this advocacy from my own village and community for people to understand. (1:53.5)

  • In future, people should remember that I am the way I am. (1:59)

  • That's why I chose this name: Jyoti. (2:04.7)

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