Angel Lama is ruling this day!
Earlier today, December 30, Nepal held the grand finals for Miss Universe Nepal. The winner of the competition gets the right to represent the country of Nepal in the global Miss Universe Pageant, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. And LGBTQ people were excited to see if Angel Lama would win. The reason being, she is the first transgender woman to be a finalist in Nepal’s pageant.
Nepal is one of the less than a dozen countries in the world, and one of the three in Asia, that accepts trans contestants in their national pageants. As such, the presence of Angel Lama, and so deep into the competition, is a great show of representation and inclusivity. And according to Lama herself, that’s a large part of why she’s doing it.
“I have come to Miss Universe Nepal to show the diversity of people in the society,” The 21-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “If I stand on that stage and showcase this, that will be the biggest crown ever.”
Thankfully, the country of Nepal has become increasingly pro-LGBTQ since ending the Maoist ideology brought on by Chinese influence in 2006. Since then, the country has passed anti-discrimination laws, elected an openly gay lawmaker, counted LGBTQ people in its census, and made many strides in acknowledging and protecting its LGBTQ citizens. With that, the Miss Universe Nepal pageant, and respectable names within it, has carried an inclusive atmosphere for years.
“If they say they are women, they are women, and they should be treated like women,” said Miss Nepal 2017 winner Nagma Shrestha, who then became the national director of the Miss Universe Nepal organization.
Though, it seems that acceptance of Angel Lama did not transfer into a win. Unfortunately, Angel ended up losing the competition earlier today. But for the 2018 Miss Pink Nepal winner, being a part of the compeittion was an honor in its own.
You can watch the grand finals below.