“I couldn’t bear wearing a gho by the time I was 13. I could wear what I wanted at home but not at school. I felt underconfident. I shared my desire to wear kira with a few teachers. They were supportive- most of all, my Driglam Namzha lopen who said I should visit the principal. When I was turned away, I started skipping school. For the next 3 months, I left home for school and went to town instead. I carried a bottle of powder for makeup, some coal pieces to darken my eyes, a skirt, and a wig made of yak hair in my bag. By the time the school reported to my family, I no longer wished to go back. The friends I’d made outside had shown me acceptance.

I found work as a dancer and bartender at a club. A journalist asked to do my story. I wondered if I could be arrested for being a transwoman. After much encouragement from my friends, I agreed. Mine was the first story about a trans-woman in the country. It made a buzz. People even came to see me dance at the bar. Because of this story, the Ministry of Education said they’d help me study again, this time without gender restrictions. I was skeptical. But when the principal of the new school came by to see me, I was elated. They showed all respect to my conveniences. They even gave an orientation at school. Everyone treated me well. Students wanted to befriend me, teachers put an extra effort into my lessons.

Knowing that I was used to a certain lifestyle, I was made to live on campus with a lady teacher. All my homework was strictly monitored. The principal would visit me personally. However, the gap I took from school had taken its toll. Despite their efforts, I didn’t do well. I feel sad looking back. The second chance that I got was unique, one that I’ll never forget. The teachers and students of that school taught me that everyone deserves acceptance and a fair chance at education.”

This Global Pride Day, Humans of Thimphu with Pride Bhutan: “Celebrating Diversity” brings you stories of people of the LGBTIQ+ community and how small acts of kindness and acceptance made all the difference in their lives.

The Pride Month, we also celebrate the allies and people who support the LGBTIQ+ community and share gratitude from the community.

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #PrideMonth

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