Lex Limbu sits with Sunil Babu Pant for an outspoken conversation about the LGBTI movement in Nepal. He also presents the "HIM & I" photo series by Meiilan Lama in the October issue of the PARTYNEPAL Magazine.
This very issue of Party Nepal magazine is a special one. Not only did I sit down to have a chat with Mr. Sunil Babu Pant, a pioneer in the LGBTI movement in Nepal but working alongside some incredible individuals, we also managed a photoshoot which simply showcases two men who are more than friends. With October 11 being the National Coming Out Day, I felt that it was important that we seized the pages of this magazine to bring forth the story of a figure who has brought much light to the LGBTI community in Nepal. With Mr. Pant continuing his activism and awareness from afar, his contribution to the movement must be remembered and shared with many younger LGBTI+ friends. Of course, it’s also a nice break from interviewing actors and models.
LEX: You’ve had quite a story. From studying in Belarus, establishing Nepal’s first LGBTI organization Blue Diamond Society to becoming Nepal’s first openly gay Member of Parliament, what do you find the most memorable from the long list of things you have achieved?
SUNIL: I am very close to my family members, so I often cherish my childhood memories, my time with my parents and siblings. I was not a sporty guy at school but I was good at studies, so I had many close friends and I was loved by all the teachers. I was a young adult when I was in Belarus and I became increasingly aware of my sexuality then and there, which made my life uncomfortable, as Belarus was (still is) a homophobic country.
I vividly remember the early-days of struggle of Blue Diamond Society. Those days were very difficult yet precious to me. 21st Dec 2007 was one of the major historic-day for LGBTI liberation in Nepal due to the Supreme Court’s favorable decision. My time at the first constituent assembly was full of opportunities to nationalize LGBTI issues. When I look back at all of these, I feel very fortunate.