Nepal issues its first transgender passport to LGBT activist

Kathmandu: Nepal on Monday issued its first transgender passport with a 37-year-old rights activist becoming the first person in the country to receive a passport under the 'Other' category instead of 'male' or 'female'.

Nepal issues its first transgender passport to LGBT activist

Nepalese transgender and the first recipient of a Nepalese transgender passport, Monica Shahi (R). AFP

Manoj Shahi, who is identified as 'Monica', became the first person in Nepal to receive a passport under the 'O' (Other) category.

Rewati Poudel, director at the Department of Passports, handed the passport to Shahi on Monday.

Shahi hoped this milestone would provide momentum to the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Intersex (LGBTI) movement in Nepal and would pave way for better reforms.

"Today is an important day in my life and I hope the younger generation is encouraged by the move," said Shahi.

According to activists, this is the first case in Asia where the third gender has been given a passport with their own identity.

Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that issue passports with 'x' as an option for people who do not identify as male or female.

Earlier this year, Nepal had amended its passport regulations, allowing 'other' as one of the gender categories.

PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 10, 2015 22:21:04 IST