Vietnam

Viet Pride Looking Forward

Viet Pride Looking Forward

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The three days of Viet Pride 2014 concluded a week ago in Hanoi with about 600 people bicycling in a rainbow convoy, after two days of film screenings, talks, and receptions at the Goethe Institute. This is the third time Viet Pride is celebrated in the capital city of Vietnam and saw a tremendous growth in not only the number of participants, representation of local and international LGBT-supportive entities, but also the social tolerance toward homosexuality and peaceful public assembly.

Themed “Together”, Viet Pride 2014 set out to open dialogue amongst different L, G, B and T communities, as well fostering the connection between the local and global LGBT movement. This task is important in the context of the equal marriage being stalled and solidarity playing a crucial role in empowering the LGBT marginalised community. Besides that, Viet Pride 2014 also aimed to increase the visibility of the LGBT minority in the hetero-normative climate.

The outcome of Viet Pride 2014 has revealed the pervasive hetero-normativity in Vietnam, but at the same time, shown signs of increased tolerance especially amongst younger generations and parents of LGBT people. Within the LGBT community, the Viet Pride forum has provided the opportunity for more connection, while illuminated the gap between the transgender group and the lesbian, gay, bisexual that has been noted to be a point of focus for future work.

Building on the results of this year, Viet Pride in 2015 will concentrate on increasing diversity awareness and the visibility of LGBT in public sphere and also in strategic areas, most notably the office environment where LGBT individuals face hostile attitude and discriminatory treatment. This agenda will also see increased attention and sensitivity to issues specific to transgender people.

Gay Brits Marry In Hanoi

Gay Brits Marry In Hanoi

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The British Embassy in Hanoi has recently organized a gay wedding for two British citizens after the United Kingdom approved the same-sex marriage law in 2013.

Yein Kai Yee and Sutpreedee Chinithigun had their simple but meaningful same-sex wedding aty the British Embassy at 9:30 am on Monday morning.

The event – which was attended by the couple’s relatives and the embassy staff and Charge d’affaires – was the first same-sex wedding to have been organized by the British Embassy in Vietnam since the passage of the British same-sex marriage law in July last year.

Lesley Craig, Charge d’affaires at the embassy, said that the same-sex wedding was a wonderful opportunity that marked not only the couple’s important milestone but also the development of the UK in terms of gender equality and human rights.

The new British marriage amendment allows same-sex couples to submit their marriage registration file at a number of UK diplomatic missions around the world.

The British Embassy in Hanoi is able to organize a marriage between a British citizen and a partner of the same or different nationality.

But it is not allowed to hold a same-sex wedding ceremony which involves a Vietnamese as the Southeast Asian country has not legalized same-sex marriage yet.

Last year, the legislation to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in July and came into force on March 13, 2014. The UK’s first same-sex marriage took place on March 29, 2014.

Vietnam Launches Coming Out Support

Vietnam Launches Coming Out Support

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The ICS Center (Vietnam’s main LGBT support organisation) launched Vietnam’s first consulting service for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals (LBGT) during a conference, held on July 11 in Ho Chi Minh City, on communicating with one’s family.
The service will offer consultations to LGBT people about how to talk to their parents about their sexuality, commonly called “coming out”, and deal with possible reactions from their parents and other family members.
The center’s director, Tran Khac Tung, said he himself had dealt with pressure from his parents more than 15 years ago and found it very difficult for him to make his parents understand his sexuality.
“Parents traditionally expect their children to get married to a member of the opposite sex. They always stress the importance of marriage to their children as they grow up,” he said. “I was among these children and I only knew to smile and avoid answering.”
Tung said tried to avoid family gathering during which his relatives kept asking him when he would get married to a woman.
The pressure on LGBT Vietnamese is exacerbated by traditional greetings such as “how old are you?” and “are you married, yet?” Tung said.
“There is a lack of information for LGBT people on how to make their family understand their sexuality,” he said.
During the conference, Hau, a 23-year-old student in HCMC, said he has a hard time speaking about his sexuality with his family.
“It has been 23 years since I began concealing my actual sexuality,” he said, adding that it was the first time he publicly identified his sexuality with others.
“I am afraid. My father seems to know about it. He is likely to accept it easier than my mother,” Hau said of his concerns.
Huynh Minh Thao of ICS said the heaviest burden for a LGBT person is to tell their story to their parents.
“We have to tell our families we can only be happy being with the people we love,” he said.
Nhi, a mother who accepted her daughter as a lesbian, said it depends on the specific case and the LGBT person must find a suitable way to tell their parents.
“In the case of Hau, he told his father that he’d never had romantic feelings for women, but men instead. Because his father is more accepting, he was able to make his mother and others in the family understand,” she said.
Nhi and several other accepting parents of LGBT children will work with lawyers and psychologists to supply the consulting services through ICS. The service will also offer consultations on legal matters involving the LGBT community.
LGBT people can book an appointment with ICS’ consulting team by calling (08)39405140 or visiting its website www.tuvanLGBT.vn. The service is free for people under 18 years old and others experiencing financial difficulties.
An online survey compiled by the Hanoi-based Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) found that 50.2 percent of those who have come out to their parents received objections, 31.2 percent said their parents ignored them and only 18.6 percent received their parents’ support.
Fifty four respondents said their families had forced them to marry heterosexuals, but more than half of them had divorced as they were unhappy and their partners did not accept their sexual orientation, according to the survey of 2,483 respondents, of which 800 men and 461 women reported being engaged in a same-sex romantic relationship.
Most of the respondents said their relationship was challenged by the disapproval of their family, public disdain and discriminatory laws.
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