The first openly gay couple from Bhutan. Loving and loved

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Deyon Phuntsho and Tenzin Gyeltshen fell in love with each other and understood that love is not about gender and being able to reproduce without medical help. Love is about seeing your reflection in another person’s soul. They felt it but were terrified because their country’s authorities would not agree with such a definition of love. The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked hermit nation in South Asia. It pioneered the ‘Gross Happiness Index’. The Index measures the collective happiness and well-being of its population. Homosexual relations are illegal in Bhutan. Article 213 of Bhutan’s Penal Code, outlaws ‘unnatural sex, if the defendant engages in sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature’. But the society itself tends to be LGBT-accepting in the country because most of the citizens are Buddhists and Buddhism does not have any direct opposition to homosexuality as Islam or Christianity. The couple are very involved with Bhutanese LGBTI organizations. Deyon is an outreach worker at a HIV organization and is the deputy coordinator for LGBTI network, Rainbow Bhutan: Celebrating Diversity. They met online and communicated warmly, but when they decided to meet in person, they understood – this is it! And after the joy of finding love came the fear – how to tell the families?! But there was no need to be afraid – the families were extremely accepting and supportive, saying that they are always there for their sons, and if they are in love, the only thing which remains is to be happy for them.

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