After Miss Nepal, its Miss Gays turn at controversy

Kathmandu: Less than a month after the controversial staging of the Miss Nepal pageant, the country’s gay community has held a Miss Transgender contest, in a double defiance of the Maoist opposition to beauty pageants as well as homosexuality.

Wearing an embroidered and sequinned red sari, 21-one-year-old Ria, also known as Raju Gurung, wore the Miss Transgender crown at a gay pageant Sunday in Pokhara city, a popular tourist destination.

Though initially over a dozen people signed up to take part in the contest organised by NGO Sunaulo Bihani, many of them backed out at the last minute due to family pressure and the social stigma surrounding homosexuality in Nepal, a local daily said.

The pageant consisted of an introduction round, a talent contest and a question-answer session.