In addition to photography, Creative Nepal is proud to host a collection of autobiographical stories written by variously identified Nepali people about their sexuality, gender identities, lives, and social contexts. In 2013, Chad Frisbie, a writing instructor from New York, funded a project through Kickstarter to come to Nepal and lead writing workshops for gay, lesbian, and transgender Nepalis. The goal was to help them learn nonfiction-writing skills and tell “their story” in public forums and through a print publication that showcases their words. The writers were free to choose any narrative from their lives that they felt would be most important for audiences in Nepal and elsewhere to hear. Chad worked with the new authors over several months of brainstorming, drafting, and editing. Writing in English, the authors built upon their English language skills and studied rhetorical and creative writing techniques which some adapted into their stories. While the project’s parameters are both geographical and identity-based—sexual and gender minorities currently living in Kathmandu—the collection brings enormously varied lived experiences into one book. Each story stands alone yet also contributes to an open-ended narrative mosaic that does not attempt to encapsulate sexual and gender minority experience definitively. As editors, we experience this collection much like overhearing a group of twelve people discussing their lives in the same comfortable room, wherein overlaps, contrasts, and synergies arise through the organic patterns of engaged, intimate conversation.
The stories were published in a printed anthology titled Pride Climbing Higher, which Creative Nepal hosts on this website. In 2015, the stories were translated and printed in Nepali with support from the Kathmandu-based arts journal, La.Lit, and the Norwegian Embassy in Nepal. Creative Nepal hopes to host new stories from new authors in the future – feel free to contact us with ideas or material.
You can read the introduction to the anthology and more about the process here.
All of the stories from the Anthology are available here in English and Nepali.
Acknowledgements from Pride Climbing Higher
Thank you to the writers of these stories for being brave, eager, and determined: Vishnu, Anjali, Simran, Bhakti, Sadhana, Shiva, Ankit, Sita, Yubraj, Anjali, Bharat, Roshan. To Daniel Coyle and Ola Perczynska for their resourcefulness and support. To associate publishers Billy Clem, Mark Minton, Terri King, Jon Frisbie, and Barb Frisbie.
To the other major contributors who helped this project reach its funding goal on Kickstarter: Hayley Conway, Simon Shikongo, Madeline McLean, Saj Pothiawala, Laura Schneider, Ray Chan, Darrell Crawford, David Marienthal, Lily Joslin, Emma Bloomfield, Rachel Kurzius, Alberto Means, Raul Tovar, and Matthew Marienthal. To everyone else who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign.
Thank you to Blue Diamond Society leaders Sunil Babu Pant and Parsu Ram Rai. To Kyle Knight, Gita Manandhar, Adheep Pokhrel, and Danielle Preiss.
To La.Lit for proving translation from English to Nepali and to the Norwegian Embassy in Nepal for their support in translation and printing costs.
And to everyone else who influenced this project in your various ways.