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Sunil Babu Pant, Gay Nepalese Politician, Petitions Facebook To Create Option For Users Who Don't Identity As Male Or Female

in NEPAL, 24/03/2012

The first openly gay member of the Nepalese parliament is petitioning Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to create options for users who don't identify as male or female.

Sunil Babu Pant, who is also the founder and director of the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's first lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights organization, told Zuckerberg in a letter that "people who do not identify as male or female continue to be sidelined by Facebook's options," and that "many in the LGBTI community feel as if they are hidden on the site, unable to identify as their true selves."

He adds:

"In Nepal, we have been working with the government to improve this identity-based access to documentation and civic participation. The Government of Nepal is working to implement a third gender option, labeled "other," on all official forms and registers.

I encourage you to do the same, for the sake of respect for gender-variant people around the world who want to socialize, organize, and be a part of your 21st century internet revolution."

Gay Star News said they were awaiting reply to a request for comment from Zuckerberg.

In 2001, Pant founded the Blue Diamond Society, which has "grown from its early grass roots days to a network of 20 groups and organisations in Nepal working on HIV, human rights and social justice for sexual gender minorities including men who have sex with men," according to Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health.

"Representing a sexual minority I will make sure the new constitution protects sexual groups, people with disabilities, small indigenous castes and others," Pant told AFP when he was elected in 2008.

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