From our contributor Ulrik Pederson in Kathmandu, Nepal - 2013
Homosexuality has been legal in Nepal since 2008, which is one of the most liberal Asian countries, but contestant tell stories of being abused and thrown in jail. In Nepal, homosexuality is often seen as a product of reincarnation and thereby a punishment for poor choices in a former life and same-sex marriage is seen as an import from Western and European culture.
The Mr. Handsome pageant was hosted by the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepalese NGO focusing on LGBT awareness activities, as a way to fight discrimination across the country on the 2 of November 2013. The NGO asked for contestants through its 40-something offices and was ecstatic when they received 35 entry applications. They had expected none.
Prim Pakrim, 22 is one of the contestants, is from Kathmandu. When asked why he's decided to attend the pageant he said “because I’m gay and I'm happy being gay." His family is aware that he is gay but he thinks a beauty pageant like Mr. Handsome can change people's views on gay people and will hopefully end the discrimination gays are facing in the country.
Find the full story and photos here.
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31 Aug 2015 on