Themed ‘Strive with Pride’, Vietnam held its second pride march in Hanoi which reflected the growing LGBT community in the country and its determination to push for more equality rights. The three-day event featured film screenings, the unveiling of scholarships, the launching of an employment equality guidebook, and a bicycle rally attended by more than three hundred people.
The year 2012 marked the first Pride festival in Vietnam, a country in which homosexuality remains taboo. For the first time ever, Vietnam saw the rainbow flag freely waving at its capital’s streets, bringing tears to the eyes of many Vietnamese LGBTs. Like Pride elsewhere in the world, Viet Pride joins the global call to end prejudice, discrimination, shame, and invisibility on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Together with Pride, the LGBT movement in Vietnam has never been stronger.
However, equality and dignity for LGBT people has yet to become reality. Misunderstanding and social stigma is still widespread. Insinuation, ridicule, parents’ disapproval, and humiliation are experiences familiar to many LGBTs. In schools, families, offices, and factories, their dignity and security are still compromised. Many LGBTs, especially youth, live in fear of being disowned, despised, or treated differently.
This short video promotion provided a glimpse of the event:
This video showed the preparations during the opening ceremony:
The Vietnam pride march is unique for its bicycle rally as shown in this video report:
Trần Dũng Vũ (Soo) was happy with the turn out:
Also present at the festival was the “Equal offices” campaign to community and press – a campaign took place since April in which more than 105 foreign and domestic enterprises joined with the aim of positive change the way enterprises look at LGBTs.
Overall it was a great weekend, surrounded by community, friends and allys and I am very much looking forward to Viet Pride 2014. I hope you will come and check it out for yourself next year.
Pratibha Mehta of the Thanh Nien News wrote about the challenges faced by the LGBT in Vietnam:
While the law doesn’t criminalize homosexuality, LGBT people are not protected when their rights are violated.
Together we must challenge negative stereotypes, and dispel toxic myths. We have to help people understand why we must stand up against homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination.
Vietnam’s parliament body is ready to deliberate the proposal to legalize same sex marriage in the country. But Valentine Vu explains why Vietnam is not yet ready for the institutionalization of same sex marriage:
…majority of the population still holds prejudice against homosexuality being a disease, in fear of it being contagious, and afraid of losing face value if a friend/family member is gay.
The nation’s conservative base still recognizes homosexuality as a taboo act and not as a personal identity, more disparities between the people would happen resulting in further isolation of gay families if gay marriage is recognized without any foundation to properly support it.