“PARADING IN SHORT OUTFITS AND SHAKING BOOBIES DO NOT IMPACT POSITIVE MESSAGES”
Saa Paaru (Gaijatra), last August, nearly 1,000 members of sexual minorities and their supporters paraded in downtown Kathmandu. Most participants in the parade were dressed in skin-revealing clothes, shaking their boobs, and yes, they were becoming the eye-candies for the bystanders. Since such scenes are common in all ‘Pride Parades’ celebrated every year, I often get curious to know the actual motive of such parades, especially in countries like Nepal.
Looking at how the parade was introducing themselves by indecently dressing in bikinis, shaking their boobies and vulgarly reveling across the street and through the event, I asked myself, “Is it a ‘bikini parade’ or a parade organized to create awareness about the issues of LGBTIs and the rights of visibility?”
I have always believed in the ‘Right to Clothing’, precisely, ‘Freedom to Wear WhatYou Want’ or even ‘Freedom to Go Nude’, and someone’s choices of clothing does not bother me. But thinking from the next side of point of view or borrowing perceptions from the people, such acts have brought negative connotations. Whenever I talk about the issues related to LGBTIs, most people begin to recognize LGBTI as ‘people who walk nude on ‘Saa Paaru’. All I believe is, ‘Pride Parade’ has created negative vibes among people.
Such acts not only have transmitted negative vibes among general population but also among the ‘teachers of the nation’: the media. Following the day of Saa Paaru, I have found media publishing pictures of transwomen in bikini more than the participants of Saa Paaru. When I analyzed, such coverage has further fueled the negative fire among the readers.
In countries like Nepal, where most people have faith in conventional beliefs, creating awareness is compulsory, and in the society of the country where LGBTIs are perceived with negative connotations, bringing positive vibes among the people is important at the foremost. To do this, we have to impress the dwellers of the society positively, and I believe parading in a vulgar manner is not the right tactic.
Let’s suppose a group of activists in bikini organizing a parade and advocating for women’s rights. Now, let’s question within ourselves, “How will the people of patriarchal society take it? Will they get impressed with the style of activism? What kinds of vibes will that act transmit?” Now, veering back to questioning about LGBTIs’ way of advocating, “What connotation will the vulgar style of parading transmit among the general people?” I believe, the answer will be ‘negative’.
In a LGBTI-phobic country like Nepal, their issues are very sensitive, and such parades impart negative impacts on the public and compel the people to generalize LGBTIs as ‘extremely sexual’ and as ‘prostitutes’.
I am not trying to jeopardize the fundamental rights to clothing; instead, I am requesting participants and organizers to appear in the society impressively because pride of LGBTI is not about ‘Freedom to Wear Anything’. I am trying to bring them into a belief that not all people are liberal; instead, some are illiterate and conservative. Goals cannot be achieved just by creating only the liberals. I believe the organizers will acknowledge the importance and sensitiveness of the issue, and act accordingly.
The writer is a 17-years-old transgender from Yala(Patan), Nepalmandal, who started involving in social activism from the age of 14.