Tattoos all over neck and arms, blond dyed Mohawk. All right, Sue Choe is a punk. Over a cappuccino in the trendy café Coffee Circles in Yangon the 23-year-old Burmese woman laughs at this stereotyping and reassures with an amused smile: “I’m just a freestyle lesbian.” Sue Choe also takes the liberty to be a lesbian activist. “It’s about our rights,” says the young woman, who works for a TV channel.
Joining the coffee break are Myo Min Htet and Ko Ko Tin. Earlier this year in Yangon the happy couple celebrated with the help of some 400 friends, relatives and co-workers the tenth anniversary of their love with a lavish party. Tin Ko Ko, 37, dismisses Burmese media reports that the police charged them afterwards for violating clause 377 A. “The media made that up. Most Burmese media report only negative about LGTB people.” The anti-gay law 377 A is a relic of the British colonial era.
Myo Min Htet, 27, and Tin Ko Ko Tin share a house in a suburb of Yangon. “The neighbors accept us because we are manly. It would be a completely different story if we were transsexual or effeminate”, says Tin Ko Ko, who works full time with the LGTB group Kings and Queens. Myo Min Htet works with Aids Alliance. Both have already been gay activists when Burma was still under the military regime. “Our meetings were held in my shop under the guise of AIDS education,” says Tin Ko Ko, who back then was a dealer in mattresses.
Read the full article in Element Magazine here: http://www.elementmag.asia/lgbt-burma-rainbow-shines-golden-land/