APCOM HERO Awards 2022’s honourees list

By November 15, 2022 December 2nd, 2022 Newsroom, Regional, What We Do


Supported by our Community Partner – ILGA Asia

Tashi Tsheten


1. Tell us about yourself

My name is Tashi Tsheten and I am from Bhutan. I use He/They pronouns and I identify as Non-binary but I mostly use the term ‘Queer’ to identify my SOGIE since gender and sexuality are fluid and I don’t like to box myself or anyone for that matter. I believe I am just an ordinary person here on earth with a job to do and I am still looking for that job.

2. Tell us about your work (professional)

I was formerly a civil servant with the Royal Government of Bhutan where I served for 5 years before I resigned in 2019 to fully dedicate my time to my LGBTIQA+ advocacy work. Currently, I am the Coordinator of Queer Voices of Bhutan and we are a SOGIESC advocacy platform in the country. We work to create visibility and awareness around LGBTIQA+ issues by creating multimedia content on various social media platforms available in Bhutan.

3. What one achievement you’ve accomplished that you’re most proud of?

Bhutan decriminalised homosexuality in 2021 and even though there are multiple people behind the scene who helps us achieve this, I am extremely glad to be a part of the movement. This journey has been very fruitful for us and we got wonderful support from our allies. Our community continues to represent and create awareness around LGBTQA+ issues and it feels wonderful to be a part of a very progressive movement in the country. 

4. What do you find most challenging about your work?

I think we have been blessed in Bhutan to have a society that is tolerant and willing to listen to us and understand our issues without prejudice. However, we don’t have the resources to reach everyone who’s willing to listen. Mobilising resources has always been a challenge and we are also a very young movement in the region and this is challenging. However, we try our best to effectively and efficiently use the resources at our disposal to create maximum impact. 

5. What do you do to recharge your battery?

I love gardening and spring is one of my favourite seasons. I also love cleaning whenever I get stressed and I usually end up with a brush and a detergent at hand whenever I have any work and that’s regardless of whether it’s my home or other people’s home. 

6. What is your vulnerability and how do you overcome it?

I am very moody but I don’t really show it. So, I suppose I am great at overcoming it!

7. You have been nominated for the Community Hero category of the HERO Awards. What was your reaction?

I am extremely pleased and obviously happy about the nomination. I think these awards are essential in recognising the work the community does, which often gets unheard of, and I am glad to represent my community and my country on this platform. 

8. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 is still with us, what hopeful message would you like to share with the communities in the Asia Pacific?

‘This too shall pass’

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