Angel Lama makes history as the first transgender contender at Miss Universe Nepal 2020

30 Dec 2020 | Priya Bhardwaj

When Nagma Shrestha introduced major changes as the director of newly introduced Miss Universe Nepal organization, it was clear that a huge wave of transformation was about to hit Nepal and its beauty pageant world. The organization broke all conventional beauty standards to fit in the new idea of a pageant queen in Nepal.

This year’s edition will also witness another record being made as Angel Lama will walk the finale stage on Wednesday as the first transgender woman to be a finalist at Miss Universe Nepal.



“I have come to Miss Universe Nepal to show the diversity of people in the society. If I stand on that stage and showcase this, that will be the biggest crown ever”, Lama says on her participation and becoming one of the 18 finalists.

She also said her parents, who did not have any formal education, wanted their child to get married and have a family, but instead she opted to work for the Blue Diamond Society, an LGBT+ rights group.

In 2018, she competed in an LGBT+ pageant and was crowned Miss Pink Nepal which helped her family come to terms with her as a trans woman. “I could openly say that I am a trans woman and my mom slowly started accepting me”, she added.

For Nagma Shrestha, national director of the Miss Universe Nepal organisation ‘everyone is equal, whatever their sexual orientation’. “If they say they are women, they are women, and they should be treated like women”, she said.



She said she changed the rules to allow trans women to compete as she had always wanted to do ‘something good’ for LGBT+ people. The 18 finalists will take to the catwalk in swimsuits and gowns with the event televised live.

Nepal ranks among fewer than a dozen countries in the world that accept trans contestants in their national pageants and only the third in Asia after Myanmar and Mongolia, according to LGBT+ activists.