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LGBTQI+ and Being an Ally

“Is it good or bad to be LGBTQI+?” reads one question a student dropped in our anonymous question box. “It is good to be true to yourself, whether you are LGBTQI+ or not. When we are true to ourselves, we are most happy, confident, and connected to others,” I answer, speaking to Kopila Valley School grade six through twelve students and teachers. It is the fourth and final session on LGBTQI+ and allyship that Meelan, manager of Health and Wellness, and I, Elsie, a BlinkNow education advisor, are facilitating during morning assembly. This session is devoted to answering students’ questions.

Over the previous three sessions, Meelan and I had explained sexual orientation, gender identity, and how to be an ally to LGBTQI+ people. We shared photos, stories, videos, and perspectives of Nepali LGBTQI+ people, providing examples of LGBTQI+ people who live openly and proudly, and who contribute to Nepali society in myriad ways.

Students impressed us with their ideas for how to be a good ally to LGBTQI+ friends and community members. After answering students' questions, Meelan and I end our final session by sharing a poster that many students contributed to, full of commitments to allyship.

Even though our morning assembly series on LGBTQI+ is finished, we are looking forward to continuing these conversations with students and teachers in the months to come. While there are organizations in Nepal that support and advocate for LGBTQI+ people – such as the Blue Diamond Society, Mitini Nepal, and Queer Youth Group – and sexual orientation and gender identity are included in Nepal’s national curriculum, these topics are not commonly discussed in most Surkhet communities. We are hopeful that Kopila Valley School students can serve as positive examples and LGBTQI+ allies, both at school and in the broader community.

If you want to learn more, please click on the following links to see the slides:

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