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NEPAL - May 5, 2003

KATHMANDU -- Nepal's first ever drag beauty contest struck a pose for positive social understanding for the country's metas (queers). Contestants in the "The Drag Cultural Show and Meta Number One Beauty Contest" carried messages of tolerance, understanding, and AIDS prevention onto the catwalk.

Twelve men competed for the crown and a cash prize. Local comedians Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya emceed and awarded prizes to the winners, asking for society's acceptance of MSMs (men who have sex with men) asking that metas be allowed to live with dignity.

The show was organized by the Blue Diamond Society, an NGO supporting GLBT rights and social concerns. The executive director of the society, Sunil Babu Pant, said that "homosexual men can come out of the closet and tell society that they exist and participants of the show set themselves as examples."


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