Miss Bhutan 2022 also 1st openly lesbian public figure

Tashi Choden Chombal miss bhutan 2022
Image: Tashi Choden Chombal Facebook

Miss Bhutan 2022, Tashi Choden Chombal, will compete as her country’s first representative in the Miss Universe pageant later this year. She is also Bhutan’s only out lesbian public figure. Indeed, the country’s only openly gay or lesbian public figure.

An amazing leap forward for a country that only decriminalised homosexuality in February 2021.

Tashi Choden Chombal’s maternal aunt and grandmother took her in at 14 following the death of her mother. She’d lost her father a decade before. Tashi began a successful modelling career a year later.

The 23-year-old told The Bhutanese she originally came out as bisexual on Facebook at the age of 15. But she later realised she was solely attracted to other women.

“Initially, I 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.”

On International Pride Day 2021, Tashi came out to her family. She said her conservative aunt and grandmother reacted strongly to the announcement but came around within a month or two.

Miss Bhutan 2022

Tashi Choden Chombal received mainly favourable feedback on winning Miss Bhutan 2022. Despite the country only decriminalising homosexuality in 2021, local LGBTIQA+ activists say Bhutan is a tolerant country. In fact, no one ever faced prosecution under the old law for adult homosexual acts.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering personally contacted Tashi to congratulate her on her win.

Tashi said that as a Miss Universe contestant she would need a cause to represent and hers would be her own community.

“I have had some discussions with Sir Karma Tshering (Founder and Director of Miss Bhutan Universe), and my first priority is the LGBTIQ community and Pride for the community.”


For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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