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Great LGBTIQA+ representation

Great LGBTIQA+ representation
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to recognize same-sex marriages. But there still are no laws for it. Despite introducing a ‘third gender’ or ‘other’ category in our citizenship and passport, the truth remains that Nepal’s LGBTIQA+ community faces discrimination on a daily basis. Our society is limited by its narrow mindset. I believe stories can change that. It can tweak people’s thinking and how they see things. Here I’m recommending three books that will give you the nudge you need to try and be more open about gender and understand that it’s just a man-made construct. The Heartstopper Series by Alice Oseman There are four volumes in this graphic novel series and each book is so short that you can breeze through one in a day. The story, which is cute and heartwarming, tackles crucial issues like abuse and homophobia. The artwork gets considerably better from the second book onwards but the story grips you right from the start.

We are introduced to Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring. The two first meet at a British all-boys grammar school. They fall in love. Charlie is high-strung and an overthinker. Nick is cheerful and soft-hearted. Though they are polar opposites, they come together quite beautifully, balancing out each other’s flaws. It’s such a great representation of a queer relationship and of people coming to terms with their gender identities. Much of the series is available online and you won’t have to buy the books if you don’t feel like it. But you will definitely enjoy this lovely tale of friendship and love.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T J Klune This is the book I want to reread this year because I remember feeling really happy while reading it. A queer himself, the author has weaved a nuanced queer love story into the main plot which is mostly fantasy. Klune is a great writer and an empathetic one at that. He doesn’t force his ideas on you but still manages to jostle you a bit into changing your mind about things. That’s the power of his writing. ‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’ is about a world with magical creatures. Linus Baker is a caseworker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youths, a ministry much like any other ministry in our world. He lives alone in a tiny house with a cat for company. He is assigned to go to an orphanage on a remote island where there are six magical children to determine whether these children are as dangerous as the ministry thinks they are. But as Linus gets to know these mysterious children and the person who runs the orphanage, Arthur Parnassus, he might have finally found a place to call home. A Very, Very Bad Thing by Jeffery Self Seventeen-year-old Marley is a “snarky gay kid from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, watching life through the disconnected Instagram filter of my generation and judging every minute of it.” His parents support him and his best friend is amazing. He meets Christopher and falls in love. But Christopher’s father is the famed televangelist Reverend Jim Anderson who is involved in the movement called “pray-the-gay-away”. He and his wife will never accept Christopher for who he is. The story is about two gay boys trying to be themselves and enjoy life in a hostile environment. It also depicts how societal expectations and limitations can lead to mistakes and horrors that can’t be undone.