A couple who met during their time with the People’s Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) are still on the the journey to battle for their rights. The pair attracted attention not only from their fellow maoist colleagues but also the wider public after it was revealed that the two women were in a relationship. The maoists arrested Dukhani Choudhary (now Manish Yadav) and Sarita Choudhary for being lesbians on March 2nd, 2007. During their interrogation, the pair were reportedly told that they would have to “undergo a blood test to check if they were lesbians”.

The girls aged 16 and 20 fled and came to Blue Diamond Society in Kathmandu. During the process of fleeing from the maoists, the former PLA soldiers never got the opportunity to attend the verification process with the UNMIN, missing the benefits, pay and other support packages provided to the PLA soldiers to assist them during their transition back into society. The pair are currently face the challenge of registering the birth of their child Subhangi. With Manish born as a girl, he still has the citizenship of a girl. Same-sex marriage is not recognised legally making it difficult to register the birth of children born into same-sex families or couples who have yet to marry (with a valid marriage certificate).

Hear Manish Yadav and Sunita’s own words in the video below.

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