MP urges Facebook’s Zuckerberg to be friend to LGBTIs

Nepal MP tells Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg not to ‘sideline’ people who don’t identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’

MP urges Facebook’s Zuckerberg to be friend to LGBTIs
22 March 2012

A Nepalese member of parliament and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex campaigner has appealed to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to make the social networking site more inclusive.

In an open letter to the multi-billionaire king of social media, Sunil Babu Pant says Facebook is ‘sidelining’ people who don’t identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’ by only giving those two options at sign-up.

And he tells Zuckerberg that the government of Nepal is leaping ahead of Facebook by giving an ‘other’ whenever people have to state their gender.

Pant tells Zuckerberg: ‘I write today as an avid user and admirer of Facebook. Your product has revolutionized the way we communicate and express ourselves around the world. It has brought communities together which were otherwise thousands of miles apart, and resulted in collaboration and partnerships which have improved the world.

‘However people who do not identify as male or female continue to be sidelined by Facebook’s options. As you allow users to identify only as male or female, many in the LGBTI community feel as if they are hidden on the site, unable to identify as their true selves.

‘In Nepal, we have been working with the government to improve this identity-based access to documentation and civic participation. The government of Nepal is working to implement a third gender option, labeled “other,” on all official forms and registers.

‘I encourage you to do the same, for the sake of respect for gender-variant people around the world who want to socialize, organize, and be a part of your 21st century internet revolution. I encourage Facebook to celebrate diversity.’

Pant is founder and director of Blue Diamond, Nepal’s first LGBTI rights organization.

In his letter he tells Zuckerberg: ‘In just eleven years, Blue Diamond Society has achieved incredible success advocating for the rights of LGBTI people. This is due, in part, to the fact that Nepal is a country that celebrates diversity, and, in part, to the bravery and tenacity of Blue Diamond Society staff and volunteers.

‘In 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal responded positively to a case Blue Diamond Society brought before it. We asked the court to find that LGBTI people are equal, and that gender identity should be based only on self-identification. They decided positively on both counts – and now we are working to implement the policies.’

Gay Star News has contacted Facebook for its response and is awaiting a reply.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

See Ellen DeGeneres JC Penney commercials!

Humorous spots debut during the Academy Awards telecast
No thumbnail available

Vigil to be held for trans man who jumped to his death in Pittsburgh

Andi Woodhouse jumped to his death in mid-December but local media did not report the fact that he was a trans man
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

New figures show 265 trans people were murdered in the last 12 months

New figures from Trans Murder Monitoring show 265 trans people were murdered across the world in the last 12 months, higher than previous years
No thumbnail available

Gay former council leader dies after attack in Glasgow

A man has been charged with assaulting Liberal Democrat John Morrison while he was walking home after a Christmas night out
No thumbnail available

Federal judge with 'hands full' to rule on challenge to Utah's gay marriage ban in early 2014

Ruling by Judge Robert J Shelby will be first on a state ban since the Supreme Court struck down part of Defense of Marriage Act
UK MP sorry for tweet comparing gay people to frogs

UK MP sorry for tweet comparing gay people to frogs

New Lib Dem leader Tim Farron claims his Twitter account was hacked
No thumbnail available

Bishop joins pro-gay marriage summit

Cutting Edge Consortium Conference to tackle same-sex marriage and equality legislation
Charges reduced against Chris Brown

Charges reduced against Chris Brown

Victim claims the singer threw punch and anti-gay slur
No thumbnail available

Lesbian promoted to rank of major general in the US Air Force Reserve

In her career Major Gneral Patricia 'Trish' Rose has directed joint logistics for operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.