Growing up a trans was not easy for 19 year old Angel Lama. ÒI knew I was different in my early age. I used to like wearing skirts. I was kind of like more into pink color more than blue,Ó she says. ÒI was attracted to boys,Ó she adds. ÒAfter harsh bullies and horrible situations I passed out from school to high school where I could not make friends.Ó  She was forced to leave home at 16 by her parents when she refused to give up identifying as female. For a short time she ended up homeless: ÒI was wandering in the streets. At that point I was totally broken because I did not know where to go and ask for foodÑ I was sixteen and half, and everything was strange.Ó She missed two years of school. She has now rededicated herself to her studies and works part time at Blue Diamond Society, a LGBTI organisation in Kathmandu. This year she was crowned ÔMiss Pink 2018Õ - NepalÕs largest and most prestigious transgender beauty pageant: ÒI was once homeless.  Now I am prestigiously crowned Miss Pink Nepal 2018. ItÕs a prestigious stage for transgender women in Nepal. Its a great thing and a great achievement of my life.Ó Speaking about her hopes for the future she says: ÒMy main motivation in life is to make a world a place where normal is not based on gender, body shape, race. But just based on work and your heart.Ó Nepal's current LGBTQI+ laws are some of the most open in the world Ð including the legal recognition of a third gender. Tangible implementation of the various government orders has been piecemeal though, a 2014 United Nations report noted. And government officials have continued to harass LGBT groups, including by alleging that organizing around homosexuality is illegal in the country. Furthermore, while laws are progressive, discrimination is wide spread, especially within families, where marriage between a man and a woman and the bearing of children are expected of young Nepalese. Katmandu, Nepal. 29 October 2018. Photo Robin Hammond/Witness Change

Angel Lama /

“As long as I can remember I used to love to dress up, hang out with girls and and play barbie. Everything was normal before but, when I slowly start to get adolescent. I was into boys. I was attracted to boys well after a harsh bullies and horrible situations I passed out from school to high school where I could not make friends, and people started to call me an introvert, gradually after my strange behavior and alienating nature I dropped out of my college. At another side of my life my mom was really unwell and had to perform serious surgery in her reproductive area. Which lead me to work at the age of 16 after a three month work from here to there I paid the half debt. After my family break down and my parents got divorced well, yeah I was abandoned by both family member. A person got me to BDS in Kathmandu. There I started my life and now, here I am crowned as MISS PINK NEPAl, convincing each and every one that just be true to yourself and stand for yourself.”

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