In a major shift in paradigm for Bhutan, which is generally considered as a traditional and conservative country, will send a lesbian to the Miss Universe 2022 pageant.
23-year-old Tashi Choden Chombal was crowned Miss Bhutan 2022 and is now all set to represent the country at Miss Universe 2022.
Choden is confident and proud of her sexual orientation.
Miss Bhutan 2022 Tashi Choden Chombal’s early life:
Tashi Choden was born in Nagaland to a Bhutanese mother and a Tibetan Khampa father.
She was raised in Nagaland till the age of three.
While, her mother – Kinley Wangmo – hailed from Shaa region in Bhutan, Tashi’s father – Chombal was a Tibetan Khampa businessman from Nagaland.
The couple met in Thimphu – the capital of Bhutan – then later married and moved to Nagaland.
However, Tashi and her mother moved back to Shaa region in Bhutan, as Tashi’s father used to constantly travel for business.
Tragedy struck Tashi early in her life, as she lost her father to illness when she was just 4 years old.
Ten years later, her mother also succumbed to an illness, when Tashi was just 14 years old.
“They had some medical issues. Their tried their best to hold on, but they passed away,” Tashi was quoted as saying by The Bhutanese.
Tashi, however, found support from her maternal aunty, maternal grandmother and her stepfather and her two half siblings.
Career in modelling:
Tashi started modelling at the age of 15.
Tashi developed a passion for modelling and took part in shows and even pageants.
She even participated in pageants outside Bhutan, like the Northeast Fashion Week.
Tashi also won the Miss Indo-Bhutan pageant.
She also took part in Miss Asia and made it to the Top 15.
She also featured in Bhutanese movies like Singye and Nyingtob.
A proud lesbian:
Tashi was among the very first few people in Bhutan to openly stamp her sexual preference.
“Initially, I am came out as a bisexual person on my Facebook account, but as I did more research and reading, I realized that I am actually a woman comfortable in my body and attracted to other women,” Tashi told The Bhutanese.
She received positive reactions from her friends who congratulated her, and they said that they kind of knew it as she gave a certain vibe.
The only struggle was to come out to her own family, which she did on the International Pride Day on 2 June 2021.
She said her family is very conservative minded, and the reaction was strong form her aunty and grandmother, but after a month or two, they also accepted the fact.
She said she and her female partner spend time together and do things that couples do, but they also give each other space.