Call it history. Call it a stereotype. Call it whatever you want, but be sure to call The Cutey Beauty Salon next time you’re in Kathmandu. Funded London’s Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Norwegian National Association of Lesbian and Gay Liberation, CBS counts itself as Nepal’s first openly gay owned business. Certainly an accomplishment in a country where gays still find themselves on the receiving end of Maoist-initiated “social cleansings”. Nepal’s only gay activist group, The Blue Diamond Society, has also offered its support to the queer venture.
Speaking to reporters at the salon’s opening, The Society’s Sunil Pant remarked:
Up to now, nothing has been done to support transgenders and the sexual minorities, who are the most marginalised, poor and socially excluded in Nepal… The salon is an opportunity for them to lead self-supporting and dignified lives so that they can make a living and contribute to the larger society.
And look good doing so, to boot.