Breaking the silence on gender identity in Asia Pacific

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01/05/2021

For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, coming out and being accepted is still a long winding road to go. Rights activist Rukhshana Kapali has been fighting for a registration number at Tribhuvan University, the oldest and largest in Nepal. The first transwoman in Nepal to apply for legal documentation as “female” said she has been denied enrollment because her educational certificates from school are not congruent with her lived gender. And the institution that issued those certificates has refused to amend them for her. Kapali was identified as a boy until grade 10 but passed grades 11 and 12 as a girl. “Transgender people cannot easily access education as their cisgender peers,” she revealed during the 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR10) online seminar. Nepal is often portrayed as a one of the progressive countries to recognize rights of transgender, third gender and non-binary people, allowing people who refuse to identify as men or women to receive citizenship certificate under the “other” category.

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