A short primer on LGBTIQBlue Diamond Society has developed a programme on Understanding Gender and Sexuality covering LGBTIQ community and their history in Nepal.
A course on on SOGIESC (sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics) is being run by the Blue Diamond Society. The organisation developed this text-based online course on their website called Understanding Gender and Sexuality to make it more accessible for Nepali youths looking to familiarize themselves with SOGIESC concepts, terminologies, and their history/relevance in Nepal.
Peter Rai from Blue Diamond Society said the course is made to give pre-teens and adults from cities easy access to SOGIESC concepts and to generate a positive outlook around the queer community in Nepal.
The course is divided into 11 chapters and takes two hours to complete. Besides the necessary concepts, the course also teaches participants the history of queer communities in Nepal, the national and international laws surrounding the liberty of queer individuals, and notable success stories from the community. Additionally, each includes a test to ensure participants understand the content provided.
The course was designed by the Blue Diamond Society with support from Right Here Right Now Nepal (RHRN), a global partnership funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands that exists in 10 countries around the globe. RHRN’s chapter in Nepal is a partnership of fifteen organisations by-and-for the youth; advocating for sex education, marriage equality, and safe abortion services.
What differentiates the course from those provided by other organisations is how in-depth it goes into the relevance of the concepts in Nepal and their history. While other courses may just teach a generalised topic, Blue Diamond Society’s course specialises the information and discusses the queer community in Nepal along with prevalent issues from multiple perspectives. Additionally, the history of the community is also taught with specialisation.
Of course, Blue Diamond Society having been in operation for over two decades and playing a significant role in getting queer awareness and liberty to where they currently are in this country enable them to rightfully do so.
Discussing the conception of the course, Rai said, “The youth are active online and they have other engagements (like classes) that keep them busy. So the course exists to make it easy for individuals to find information and for their time as well.”
According to the Blue DIamond Society, Understanding Gender and Sexualiy is their first attempt at running an online course. As such, there may exist hiccups and instances where the course falls short in its quality. That being said, Rai says the organisation plans to make the second phase of their courses more friendly to those who are differently abled, those not in the English medium, and those not residing in cities with easy access to the internet and online classes.
Established in 2001, Blue Diamond Society is one of the largest and longest running organisations for queer people in Nepal. With an outstanding history of activism that brought a lot of changes in the country, Blue Diamond Society exists to support Nepal’s sexual minority, provide sexual health education to the country’s masses, and advocate/lobby for laws to eliminate oppression against the queer community in Nepal.
Blue Diamond Society's objective in running the course is to enable the hidden queer community to explore themselves, their gender & sexuality, and how they can express themselves. As of now, any willing individual can participate in their online course through the organisation’s website (course.bds.org.np).