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.



No thumbnail available

CDC finds 20% jump in unprotected sex between men in US since 2005

The US Center for Disease Control has reported a 20% jump in unprotected sex among gay and bisexual men over a six year period - while it estimates a third of the HIV positive men who have sex with men in the US don’t even know they have the virus
No thumbnail available

Wife of Malaysian PM blames HIV on gay people

Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor says ‘you have to nip it [homosexuality] in the bud’
No thumbnail available

Gay bashed teen kicked out of New Mexico mall for ‘fighting’

A 14 year-old gay teen has reportedly been banned from the shopping mall where a teen called him queer and beat him to the ground
No thumbnail available

Scotland's lesbian Tory leader Ruth Davidson splits up with her partner

The UK's first openly gay party leader has split up with her long-term partner
No thumbnail available

Uganda's first ever gay clinic is 'lifeline'

Activist and founder of Uganda's first ever LGBTI clinic in Kampala says many gay patients fear attack and persecution at mainstream hospitals
No thumbnail available

Record-breaking numbers support marriage equality bill in Australia

Advocates say at least 45,000 submissions in favour of same-sex marriage were submitted to senate inquiry
No thumbnail available

What if gay guys said the idiotic stuff some straight people say?

‘I don’t mean straight in a heterophobic way! I just mean, you know, dumb and stupid’
No thumbnail available

Pro golfer Brandt Snedeker welcomes the day when the PGA Tour has an openly gay player

'I don't think a gay golfer is going to be that big of a deal. It's not going to affect my life in any way, shape or form'
No thumbnail available

Funnyman Alec Mapa shares very serious reasons behind his drive to tell his gay story

Seeing AIDS Quilt unfurled in Washington DC 27 years ago made him realize the world did not know the stories of those who died
No thumbnail available

Rick Santorum booed for comparing gay marriage to polygamy

Town hall appearance in New Hampshire grows testy when presidential candidates tries to school students on the topic