[ View the story "'Third gender' identity " on Storify] 'Third gender' identity Nepal to issue IDs for sexual minorities.
The Stream· Wed, Jan 23 2013 13:44:08
The 2007 decision required all citizenship certificates to clearly indicate an individual’s gender identity. The certificates, which work as national identity papers, are used when opening a bank account, purchasing property, accepting employment or applying for a passport.undp.org
Nepal's Blue Diamond Society estimates there are around 500,000 MSM and transgender people in the country, of which 6,000 are living with HIV/AIDS.undp.org
Nepal's Third Genderundp
Below a redditor provides a definition of "third gender".
Most of them are biologically male (mixed chromosomes and hermaphrodites are rare), but function as females in society, where they often have a spiritual role for example in blessing weddings. They aren't just crossdressers. Sometimes their genitals (everything) were cut off in a ritual, but that has become rare.reddit.com
Another redditor distinguishes between a person's gender and sex:
There are two descriptions for people and they are their sex and their gender. Their sex is what describes them physically but gender is more of a mental self identification. Systym
The following netizens expressed their support for the decision:
Wonderful. People don't often look to Nepal for much more than its geography and history, but it's nice to see a smaller country leading a change as opposed to following larger countries.dinolado
Others expressed disagreement:
I'm all for equal rights. But X and Y chromosomes are X and Y chromosomes. tekno45
Some questioned using the term "third gender":
Nepal introduces transgender option on its state IDs. Not fond of the terminology they're using, but it's a big step.
I think part of the problem is the plethora of imprecise terminology, and to make it worse people use that terminology even more imprecisely.KermitDeeeFrog
or, why have a field for gender at all? My passport does not list my ethnicity or religion, but they seem to figure out who I am all over the world.riverbend
Netizens also discussed "third gender" categorization around the world:
I didn't know that along with Nepal now, India, Australia (passports) and Pakistan (IDs) allow for more than 2 genders