Bhumika Shrestha

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Transgender activist Bhumika Shrestha has advocated for gender minorities’ rights and social justice in Nepal since 2007. Despite the entrenched social stigma and historical biases against transgender persons, Ms. Shrestha helped lead the movement for gender minority recognition, as Nepal faced enormous political upheaval and rebirth. Thanks in large part to her activism, in 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled that individuals could be identified as a third gender on citizenship documents, and in the spring of 2021, she successfully changed her citizenship from “other” to female. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Shrestha advocated with the Government of Nepal to ensure the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) community were met at the policy level. At the same time, she worked at the grassroots level to ensure medical, economic, and mental health needs were being met.

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