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1 Aug 2012

Vietnam to hold first ever LGBT pride festival and cycle parade in Hanoi, Aug 3-5

Following an announcement that Vietnam's Justice Ministry is looking into legalising same-sex marriage, the country will see its first LGBT pride festival and "Cycle with Pride" parade on Sunday morning.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam will hold its first ever LGBT pride festival in the capital city of Hanoi with a unique Cycle with Pride parade on Sunday.

Last month, the country’s Justice Ministry announced that a special consultation about same-sex marriage was underway and is expected to be discussed at the National Assembly congress in 2013. Should it go through, Vietnam will be the first Asian country to legalise same sex marriage.

Viet Pride will run from Aug 3-5 and will feature film screenings, research presentations, music live performances, and a cycle parade through the city center on Sunday morning beginning at My Dinh Stadium and ending at Ly Tu Trong Park. 

Organised by Nguyen Thanh Tam and a group of volunteers, the event is supported by the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA) where Tam is casually employed. The 25-year-old self-described “freelance activist”, who has lived in Singapore for the last six years, was inspired to organise Viet Pride after she and other activists were sponsored to attend Stockholm Pride last year.

The event is also supported by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), and Information Connecting and Sharing (ICS); venue and in-kind sponsors Goethe Institute, Lebox Produktion (Sweden) and Hearst Entertainment (US); and in-cash sponsors Embassy of Sweden and Embassy of Canada.

Tam told Fridae in an email interview that organisers have received about 160 confirmations for indoor activities and over 200 for the parade as of Tuesday.

Homosexuality is not illegal in the former French colony although it remains largely taboo as Vietnamese society is influenced by Confucian social mores that places emphasis on tradition and family.

The event’s website adds: “Homosexual relationships and practices are still a taboo, even though Vietnam is not a country with widespread violence and anti-gay policies. Negative social attitudes and stigmas are still a reality. Disapproval, discrimination and degradation are prevalent in all social institutions – schools, workplaces, public areas, and families. Even worse, corrective actions do happen: home confinement at best and arranged rape at worst.”

“The event serves to encourage people to come forward, to come out and to live openly with pride; to strengthen the sense of community that transcend group boundaries and differences… In celebrating the first ever Pride in Vietnam, let us dedicate the first weekend of August to recognise and celebrate the pride in ourselves, the pride in our fellows who are fighting and striving for the truth they want to live, and ultimately, the pride in being on the right side of history.”

For more info and the schedule of events, visit vietpride2012.weebly.com.




1. 2012-08-01 18:52  
Nice, congrats!
回應#2於於2012-08-01 18:52被作者刪除。
3. 2012-08-01 19:20  
while some of Asia country like mine or Malaysia is doing a step back from LGBT's rights, it's nice to see Viets doing several steps forward.

a support from Indonesia.
4. 2012-08-01 21:43  
Sending good vibes to Vietnam from NYC ♥‿♥
5. 2012-08-02 02:11  
Go vietnam
6. 2012-08-02 03:48  
Having met a number of guys (several that were pressured into marriage) when I lived in Viet Nam back in 2007 and knowing how hard it was for them, this comes as marvellous news.

It will, of course, take time for Vietnamese society to come round to seeing that no sexuality is any more wrong than any other sexuality but this is most definitely a great step forward. Here's wishing Viet Pride and those that attend and support it all the very best. I only wish I could be back there to attend.

7. 2012-08-02 06:12  
Well done Vietnam.
Congrats :o)
8. 2012-08-02 07:38  
I am so so so happy for this. My fellow Vietnamese gays and lesbians are so courageous. I am truly inspired. I wish I could be home right now...
9. 2012-08-02 10:43  
It's kind of surprising, I guess Vietnam is the new Cuba? Somehow throwing supports at gay rights, but yet, withhold other basic human rights from its citizens.
10. 2012-08-02 12:23  
Good luck vietnam...
11. 2012-08-02 13:29  
GO Vietnam :))
12. 2012-08-02 13:45  
Wow, gay marriage in Vietnam, who knew :-)?

So, how does a supposedly communist state (at least, on paper) behave light years ahead of a so-called "first-world" economy like Singapore? It boggles my mind. The Singapore government has officially closed itself off to all possibility of debate on this issue and it seems that that decision is influenced by the far-right faction in mainstream Singapore society that's controlled by organized religion (primarily, members of the Judeo-Christian traditions). I think it's more the PAP government's standing excuse until, at least, the old troll kicks the bucket. Vietnam has a very strong Catholic presence and the Catholic Church is one of the most powerful opponents to the legalisation of gay marriage yet the fact that the Communist Party of Vietnam is even considering the issue means that the topic remains open for public debate. That's light years ahead of this supposedly "first-world" country.

Bravo, Vietnam :-)!
13. 2012-08-02 15:17  
Congratulations on this development. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, no matter the longitude!
14. 2012-08-02 18:30  
I'm in Hanoi, and I haven't seen posted here about this VietPride project.
15. 2012-08-04 06:35  
Awesome Vietnam............ Hoping your parade is sooooooo successful :-)
Every year I visit VN, mostly Saigon and Vung Tau, there is such a fast change in society........ it is so warming in the heart to see each visit.
Good Luck Vietnam :-)




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