This week read about the first transgender finalist in the Miss Universe Nepal pageant, and a Ugandan trans woman receiving an advocacy award in Canada.

Miss Universe Nepal Features First Transgender Finalist

Angel Lama has become the first transgender finalist in the Miss Universe Nepal pageant, Reuters reported

Lama was crowned Miss Pink Nepal in 2018 after competing in an LGBT pageant, Reuters reported. 

Nepal is among less than a dozen countries who accept transgender contestants in national beauty pageants, Reuters reported. 

“Identify as a woman? You are welcome,” according to the Miss Universe Nepal website

New pageant management relaxed height, weight and appearance requirements and opened participation to any woman between 18 and 28, Reuters reported.  

Nepal law recognizes transgender citizens, Reuters reported. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh recognize their transgender communities as well. 

Nepal’s Supreme Court enacted measures to ensure equal LGBT rights in 2007, elected a gay legislator in 2008 and held its first Pride parade in 2010, Reuters reported. 

Anshika Sharma was crowned Miss Universe Nepal 2020, the Himalayan Times reported.

Ugandan Trans Woman Receives Advocacy Award in Canada


Christopher Nkambwe. Photo courtesy of Christopher Nkambwe.

In Toronto, Canada, Christopher Nkambwe, a transgender woman born in Uganda, won the 2020 Steinert & Ferreiro Award from the Community One Foundation, the African Human Rights Media Network reported. The award celebrates advocates who have contributed to the Canadian LGBT community. 

In Nkambwe’s acceptance speech, she said she would use the $10,000 cash prize to purchase office materials like laptops for her team members in the African Centre For Refugees, provide personal protective equipment to team members in Toronto and to bring together LGBT activists from the Caribbean and the continent of Africa. 

Nkambe got her start in Uganda as the executive director and founder of Service Workers in Group Foundation Uganda and through volunteer work with other LGBT organizations, the AHRMN reported. 

“All individuals who have made a significant contribution through the arts and sciences in promoting the understanding and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer and two-spirited communities in the Greater Toronto Area are eligible to be nominated,” according to the Community One Foundation website.