Nepal to issue passports with third gender for sexual minorities

January 8, 2015 /LGBT News/ The Nepalese government is to issue passports with a third gender option for citizens who do not identify as male or female.

'We have changed the passport regulations and will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female,' Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the government’s passport department, told Reuters.

The decision comes after a 2007 Supreme Court ruling in the country ordered authorities to amend legislation to include a third gender.

Nepal joins a handful of countries that recognize a third gender: citizens of Australia and New Zealand can choose from three genders for their passports - male female or indeterminate, marked by an "x" in the passport. 

South Asia nations appear to be ahead of the curve regarding the right to identify as third gender on official documents. Court decisions in Pakistan in 2009 and India in 2014 both cleared the way for people who identify as being of indeterminate gender to do so formally.


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