The Miss Universe pageant may have ended with South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi getting the crown, but a different spotlight has remained shining on Miss Myanmar, who seized the moment to come out with pride.
Swe Zin Htet became the first openly gay Miss Universe contestant as soon as she came out in a pre-pageant interview in which she said that she hopes to advocate for the LGBT community back home, where homosexuality is still illegal.
“I believe that not all countries allow same-sex marriage. I want the world to accept the LGBTQ+ community and their right to choose their own path and pursuit of happiness,” Htet told beauty blog Missosology. “Love is the most powerful thing and people fall in love with human beings, not gender.”
Htet, nicknamed by her fans as “superman,” competed Sunday in Atlanta but failed to reach the top 20. Her Instagram bio is now adorned with a couple rainbow flag emojis. A photo collage she posted there has been receiving love from fans around the world.
“We the LATINOS, support girl. If the crown stay in Asia, it should be Myanmar,” Instagram user @Camimedrano1 wrote.
“Thank you for saying you’re a proud lesbian and [sic] that you really support the LGBTQ community I respect for that. Make Myanmar proud,” @Rodney_dollar wrote.
Thailand’s Paweensuda “Fahsai” Drouin made the final five before being cut.