Nepalese transgender and the first recipient of a Nepalese transgender passport, Monica Shahi from Kailali district displays her new passport with "O" for other in the document's gender section, in Kathmandu on August 10, 2015
Prakash Mathema —AFP/Getty Images
By Joanna Plucinska
August 11, 2015

Monica Shahi has become the first person in Nepal to have a passport that recognizes her as neither male or female but as a member of a third category. Her passport is now marked with an “O” that represents “Other,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports.

Nepal is just the latest country to authorize a third gender category for passport holders, however. To date, Bangladesh, India, Denmark and Australia, among others, offer the designation on travel documents.

Since a 2007 Supreme Court ruling allowed Nepalis to recognize their gender according to their “gender feelings” not just to a male or female binary, tolerance towards the trans community has continued to grow in the South Asian country, HRW says.

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