Boby Tamang / Nepal
“I realised that I was a transgender when I was 13 years old. I have not studied a lot. And I studied up to third grade in my village. At the age of 13 I ran and came to Kathmandu. I worked in the garment industry as a carpet weaver. And then I started working for hotels. After working for two years, I met people like me. And then I started dancing at restaurants by becoming a girl. We did not know about Blue Diamond Society nor did it exist back then. There was nobody like me in my village. And I thought that I was completely alone in the world. So I left village because i hoped to find people like me. Back then, 5-10-15…20 years ago I would go to Ratna Park, and people called me meti. I did not know what it meant. Later i found it was a word to describe guys who became girls. They had a lot of words to describe the sexuality of LGBT people. I did not know anything then and I would ask: is than also possible? People came looking for sex at night. Some went to the park, others to the bathroom. And I realised i was like those people. When I had not become a girl, there was no harassment. After I started wearing women’s clothing i was harrased, the police locked me up several times, and beat me. I am a sex worker. I work here part time… I am still a sex worker.
I have been a sex worker for 10 years. At first there was no difficulty because the police and the locals were supportive. Now, I have a lot of different friends. You must know about Thamel. There is a lot of theivery and robbery happening there. When we wear women’s clothing, people think we are thieves. We are forced to do sex work because transgender dont get employment opportunities, and get kicked out of school. Normal girls and boys get work, but we transgender have to face difficulties. Even if they hire us, they kick us out after a month or two. We have no choice but to do sex work. People who can understand, have already understood. ANd there are those who dont want to understand. We stay quiet in front of them. We have never been caught doing sexwork inside hotels but police take us to jail when they see us walking down the street. They say we are spreading decadence in society. We are in prison for 20 to 25 days. Other people pay fine up to 5000 rupees, while transgender are fined up to one lakh rupees.”