In an open letter, the only openly gay parliament member in Nepal, Sunil Babu Pant, has urged Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to include an ‘others’ or a ‘third gender’ option on the social networking site. Pant cited the ruling made by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2007 that guarantees gender identity based on self-identification.
Gay rights groups in the Capital have also joined Pant in pushing Facebook to include a ‘third gender’ option. Anjan Joshi, executive director, Space, who has set up a Facebook page to support the cause, says, “It’s important for Facebook to have a third gender as a large number of transgenders face an acute identity crisis when they are asked to choose between ‘male’ and ‘female’ on the site.”
Another LGBT activist, Rudrani Chatterjee (a transgender herself) of Mitra trust, says, “I find it very humiliating when I have to choose between M and F options, as I am neither. We hope that Zuckerberg understands the crisis we battle.” She too is writing to Facebook in support of Pant.
Shashi Bhushan, LGBT activist, who has also set up a Facebook page urging it to include the third gender, says, “Facebook can be an important tool for spreading awareness about LGBTs.”