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Nepal census recognizes 'third gender'


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When census gatherers went door-to-door visiting 5.6 million households across Nepal this month, they collected information not only on the country's men and women, but also on a so-called third gender.

In what is believed to be a world first, Nepal's Central Bureau of Statistics is giving official recognition to gay and transgender people -- a move seen as major victory for equality in a country that only decriminalized homosexual relationships three years ago.

Among those happy to stand up and be counted in the third gender category is Dilu Buduja, 35. "I was born as a girl, but as I grew up I felt I was a boy. Today I totally feel like a man," he said.

A spokesman for the statistics bureau, Bikash Bista, said the new categorization was an attempt to open up the traditionally conservative country up to different points of view.

For the full story:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/05/31/nepal.census.gender/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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