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Resham presenting to a room.

A Hidden Face of LGBTQIA+ Activism

Resham, a hidden treasure of LGBTQIA+ activism, shares his journey of struggle and success.

The Real Stories of Peace: A Hidden Face of LGBTQIA+ Activism.

Meet Resham Nepaunae from Butwal, Nepal. Resham is a courageous advocate fighting to protect LGBTQIA+ rights and create dignified employment opportunities for queer individuals.

Resham presenting to a room. Quote reads over the image ‘We need to recognise community resources and explore ways to leverage those resources for our community.'

“Being a queer person, I empathise with queer people ending up in the streets of Butwal. I am committed to protecting them from the oppression of sexual assault and their forceful situation to sell their body for living.”

Despite Nepal having strong LGBTQIA+ laws, there is a gap between them and implementation. On the ground, people face ongoing harassment and discrimination, with a lack of protection of these laws. 

Identifying himself as queer, Resham knew from childhood that he was different from other people. After completing school in 2010, he came across a local organisation—Bharosa Samaj—that supported queer people. However, he was shocked and saddened to see the organisation struggling due to a funding crisis. The organisation only had a few more years before it would be forced to permanently close. 

Resham became aware of how funding is manipulated by big organisations for their benefit. He started thinking how he as a local queer activist and peacebuilder could generate resources for queer activist to lead LGBTQIA+ movement in Lumbini province.

Resham presenting standing behind a table with two people watching to his side.

“We need to recognise community resources and explore ways to leverage those resources for our community. Donors come and go, but our society is and will be here, which has immense resources, including funds and non-financial assets, that can be used to expand our movement.”

In 2018, Resham co-founded Sahasi Kadam Nepal (SKN). A queer, youth-led organisation that aims to create a society where every person of sexual and gender minority can have equal rights and dignity. 

Resham is working to defend rights and secure dignified living for queer people in Butwal city of Nepal. Often queer people lack opportunities for work and are forced into unsafe labour, SKN works to provide skills enhancement opportunities so they can support themselves in securing safe work. SKN now works with Freedom Studio, Resham and his colleagues have learned different ways of activism, such as artivism, ‘techtivism’, and ‘craftivism’, and funding-raising skills from the local community. 

“With Freedom Studio’s support, we learned about creative ways to generate income and engage in activism. Today, we have built on Freedom Studio’s artivism to not only make people aware of our situation but also raise funding for our cause.”

For Resham, peace starts with equal rights for all regardless of sexual or gender identity.

Discover more real stories of peace