by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Kathmandu, Nepal, will see its first LGBT pride parade Aug. 25, says Sunil Pant, an openly gay member of Parliament. The procession will include elephants, a band and street performers, he said. There also will be a festival in Basantapur Durbar Square.
Aug. 25 also is a Hindu and Buddhist festival day, “Gai Jatra,” on which some men dress in drag and wear masks. Although the day is “for remembering those who have died in the past year,” Pant said, “there is a great deal of merrymaking connected with it.”
“Many of the participants wear outlandish costumes,” he said. “Traditionally, a good number of the young Newar men in the procession dress in women’s clothing. Given this history, Gai Jatra seemed to be a ready-made occasion for the Blue Diamond Society, the Nepalese sexual and gender minority association, to stage Nepal’s inaugural pride march.”
The parade will start at 2 p.m. on Durbar Marg in front of the former Royal Palace.