On May 17th 2016, 18 participants took part in this year’s Miss Pink trans beauty pageant, a traditional pageant for the Nepali transgender community held in Jamal, Nepal. May 17th is the International day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) with many events taking place around the world and this year the Nepali Miss Pink contest will be joining in with the theme of Mental Health and Wellbeing of LGBTI community through adding this element into their pageant.
In Nepal, this beauty pageant amongst the transgender community has taken place in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and once again this year in order to raise awareness of the LGBTI community and it’s visibility on a national level. Through this event, people are able to show their support towards the Transgender community and it also allows members of the community to positively highlight their lives and make people aware of any issues that still exist.
The event is widely supported within the community and with well renowned judges, the event also attracts as much media coverage as the Miss Nepal beauty contest. There a great benefits for the participants in simply taking part on such a platform to boost their own self esteem as well helping improve the visibility of the community within the society. For the winner, there are more benefits to their lives in a financial capacity but also through being seen as a positive role model and being able to increase the good work also done by the Blue Diamond Society.
The judges for this year were a famous Nepali actress, a former Miss Nepal, an activist for women, a journalist and a writer who judged the 18 contestants. The last top 5 contestants were escorted on stage by 5 health care providers to show acceptance of the Transgender community in health care settings. This was to highlight this year’s theme of Metal Health and wellbeing amongst the LGBTI community.
The event was attended by Chief Guest, Honourable Attorney General Mr. Haru Phuyal and the Remarks were given by UNAIDS country director Ruben Del Prado and Blue Diamond Society president Pinky Gurung. The Pageant was supported by Multi-Country South Asia Global Fund HIV Programme (MSA).
We would like to condemn any kind of discrimination and violence faced by sexual and gender minorities community and also urge state to take strong action on it. For this purpose we organized Miss Pink 2016 during IDAHOT to advocate and to sensitize our issue publicly thinking that there is equal need of policy change and also change of perception of the society towards us.
“We would like to condemn any kind of discrimination and violence faced by sexual and gender minorities community and also urge state to take strong action on it. For this purpose we organized Miss Pink 2016 during IDAHOT to advocate and to sensitize our issue publicly thinking that there is equal need of policy change and also change of perception of the society towards us,” explained Manisha Dhankar, the Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society, one of the co-conveners of the Pageant.
The contestants were judged not only on their beauty but also on what they have already contributed as well as their role in future events and their ability to become a positive role model within the Transgender community.
After a great competition with many contestants worthy of winning, the final 3 were announced as below.
Winner and Miss Pink 2016: Aney Lama aged 24 who is currently completing a fashion design course and who wants to sustain her life by becoming a business women. Aney performed lots of dances on World Aids Day, National condom day, IDAHOT etc and is visible in a very positive way in the Transgender community. As Miss Pink 2016, Aney will bring more visibility of the Transgender issues in society through media coverage and her participation in other events to follow. She will receive Nrs 50000 and Nrs 50000 of cosmetic surgery from local cosmetic clinic.
1st Runner up: Akanshya Timalsina aged 23 is a resource centre officer at Blue Diamond Society and already contributes greatly to the Society’s work on a daily basis.
2nd Runner up: Pallavi Sharma Aged 26 is a trans activist doing lots to promote awareness within the community and will continue to do so.
The Miss Pink trans beauty pageant attracts many people wishing to participate each time, however the maximum capacity in the theatre where the contest is held is 18, however each time different people get a chance to enter. This year all but one contestant are new to the contest and the organisers hope this enthusiasm for the event both in the number of contestants and the support provided will continue throughout the year and for future events.
Written by UN Volunteer Allison Laycock