Vietnam, Asia

With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Fighting between the two sides continued during the Vietnam War (called the 'American War' by Vietnamese), ending with a communist victory in 1975. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth had been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These efforts culminated in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007 and its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2008.

Homosexuality is not a crime provided that it involves noncommercial acts between consenting adults in private. In fact many historians believe that homosexuality was never addressed in the nation's criminal code. Male prostitution and public sex are illegal and establishments or people found to be involved in such behavior can be sentenced to long prison terms. The criminal code does prohibit the "undermining public morality". This vague law could be used to harass gay people or gay rights organizations. In both Saigon and Hanoi there are quiet gay communities and venues.

 

News & Reports:

 

HIV infections on the rise

Hanoi (VNA) – The number of new HIV infections has been on the rise in Vietnam, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) and those with unsafe sexual behaviours, heard a conference on policies for HIV/AIDS prevention in Ho Chi Minh City on September 27. More than 4,540 HIV infections had been detected… Read more »

A new safe place for the LGBT community

HCM City —  Eight years ago, a 24-year-old man from the Mekong Delta Province of Ð?ng Tháp, who identified as gay at the time, decided he wanted to change his gender. But he didn’t know where to turn for advice. “I felt like a girl inside. Psychologically, that’s how I felt,” he said last Sunday… Read more »

A new safe place for the LGBT community

HCM CITY — Eight years ago, a 24-year-old man from the Mekong Delta Province of Ð?ng Tháp, who identified as gay at the time, decided he wanted to change his gender. But he didn’t know where to turn for advice. “I felt like a girl inside. Psychologically, that’s how I felt,” he said last Sunday… Read more »

This transgender bodybuilder is crushing barriers in Vietnam

It’s Sunday morning in Ho Chi Minh City. Blistering heat is vaporizing last night’s downpour on the streets of District 7, an upscale area southeast of the city center and popular with expats. Under the unforgiving lights of a gym so polished it looks barely used, Kendy rehearses the poses that he hopes will win… Read more »

Beyond Legal Progress: The Reality of LGBT Discrimination in Vietnam

Over a year on from Vietnam’s lifting of bans on same-sex marriage ceremonies, advancements in the rights of LGBT citizens throughout the Southeast Asian region seem to have stagnated, and indeed in some cases, regressed. In Thailand, the recognition of a “third gender” in its constitution is a victory for its transgender citizens, but legal… Read more »

For Nguyen Hai Yen, it all started with the need to find a connection. As a queer woman living in Vietnam during the early 2000s, it was easy to feel like she was the only one.

At a time when being gay or queer was still considered by many in the country a “social evil” on par with drug use and prostitution, coming out in Vietnam wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. So Yen decided to turn to the one place she knew of to try and find a connection… Read more »

Vietnam’s LGBTQ Movement Is in Full Bloom

For Nguyen Hai Yen, it all started with the need to find a connection. As a queer woman living in Vietnam during the early 2000s, it was easy to feel like she was the only one. At a time when being gay or queer was still considered by many in the country a “social evil”… Read more »

Vietnam’s schools remain dangerous for LGBT youth

Vietnam abolished its ban on same-sex marriage at the beginning of 2015, much to the praise of activists. The move set Vietnam apart from most other countries in the region. However, a year on there are reports that not much has changed for LGBT’s day to day lives. A report from the English-language website of… Read more »

Queer Southeast Asia: Recognition, Respect & Legitimacy

Over the past few decades, diverse new cultures and communities based on same-sex preference and transgender identity have become increasingly prominent in all the countries of Southeast Asia. Across the cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity of region, and despite the distinctive colonial and semicolonial political histories of the modern states of Southeast Asia (see Jackson… Read more »

Vietnam Recognizes Transgender People

Hanoi — Vietnam lawmakers on Tuesday passed changes to a civil code that acknowledges transgender people and gives them rights to change gender in legal documents, reflecting a major advance in the Communist government’s viewpoint on gender issues. Under the new law, which will take effect from Jan. 1, 2017, people who underwent sex change… Read more »

Watch: Speak Production, a Vietnamese LGBT Sitcom

New Vietnamese sitcom follows lesbian relationships at a college. It’s now in its third episode so check it out below and let us know what you think. by Fridae Editor Source – Fridae

Gay US Ambassador to Vietnam and his husband

Over the last few months, US Ambassador Ted Osius and his husband Clayton Bond have become the most prominent gay couple in Vietnam. The couple, who have a toddler son and have recently adopted a baby girl, have become ambassadors for the LGBT rights movement in the Southeast Asian country. The communist government of Vietnam… Read more »

Meet Vietnam’s Gay Power Couple: U.S. Ambassador and His Husband

Since their December arrival in Vietnam, U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius and his husband have become the most prominent gay couple in the Southeast Asian country. Osius and Clayton Bond landed with their toddler son shortly before the government abolished its ban on same-sex marriage. Now the couple, who recently adopted an infant girl, find themselves… Read more »

Gay Ambassadors Represent U.S. and LGBT Interests to the World

Gay American diplomats are beacons, whether in tolerant Western Europe or homophobic Russia and China. Hanoi — When U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius, his husband, and their 15-month-old boy came onto the stage at the American Club in Vietnam’s capital last week, the crowd cheered and drew closer. Hundreds of young Vietnamese were there, many of… Read more »

Special jails for transgender and gay prisoners proposed in Vietnam

According to an official report, gay and transgender prisoners face the highest risk of sexual harassment from other inmates in prison. Vietnam may be considering housing transgender and gay prisoners in jails separate from those currently in use so as to protect them from sexual harassment. This plan has been proposed by the Social, Economic… Read more »

Vietnam Abolishes Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Taking Lead in Gay Rights

Vietnam taking the lead in gay rights in Southeast Asia by abolishing a ban on same-sex marriage has medical doctor Thuan Nguyen planning a wedding ceremony with his boyfriend of two years. “I am ready to have a wedding,” he said. “Many, many young people in love are optimistic about the acceptance of gay weddings.”… Read more »

LGBT members in Ho Chi Minh City take to the streets to promote diversity

About a thousand people flocked to the city’s Labor Culture Palace to honor individuals and organizations who made a difference to the LGBT community in Vietnam. About a thousand LGBT members and their friends in Vietnam’s commercial capital of Ho Chi Minh City took to the streets to promote diversity and honor individuals and organizations… Read more »

Vietnam’s LGBT community celebrates pride, softening attitudes toward gays

Hanoi, Vietnam — The streets of Hanoi were awash with rainbow flags on Sunday as an estimated 300 gay rights advocates celebrated the nation’s largest gay pride event to date. AFP reports that members of Vietnam’s LGBT community cycled and danced through the capital urging an end to discrimination against the LGBT community in a… Read more »

Vietnam hosts third gay pride parade as attitudes soften

Hanoi: Around 300 activists led a colourful parade through Hanoi on Sunday in the nation`s largest ever gay pride event, as communist Vietnam shows signs of increasing tolerance of sexual difference. The city streets were awash with rainbow flags, as a mainly young crowd cycled and danced through the capital urging an end to discrimination… Read more »

British Embassy in Hanoi officiates its first wedding of a same-sex couple

The British Embassy in Hanoi has officiated its first wedding for a same-sex couple in Vietnam. Yein Kai Yee and Sutpreedee Chinithigun, both males and British citizens, had their wedding held by the British Embassy July 29 morning, according to tuoitrenews.vn. The marriage was attended by the couple’s relatives and the embassy staff and Charge… Read more »

Ho Chi Minh City begins VietPride 2014 celebrations, over 2,000 attend

More than 2,000 people gathered in Ho Chi Minh City to join in an event dedicated to Vietnam’s LGBT. The event was part of the national VietPride 2014 celebrations slated to be held in 17 cities and provinces from July 18 to August 3. More than 2,000 people joined in Ho Chi Minh City’s July… Read more »

Equality rights have little impact on lesbians in Vietnam

Same-sex relations, equality laws and their social perceptions in Vietnam are almost always associated with gay men with lesbians largely being misunderstood, ignored or discriminated against, says a social anthropologist. Vietnam has made great strides towards equality laws but these have little or no impact on the country’s lesbian population, says Vietnamese-American LGBT activist and… Read more »

Countries congratulate Vietnam for its non discriminatory LGBT policy

Many Asian countries have congratulated Vietnam during an international meeting for being a model for its non discriminatory and caring attitude towards its LGBT community. ASEAN, the ten-member southeast Asian regional grouping congratulated Vietnam and is considering it as a model in creating fundamental conditions for ensuring human rights of its LGBT community, during the… Read more »

Vietnam: Yes On Equality, No On Relationships

June brought two major decisions on LGBT rights on the part of Vietnam. The legal recognition of same-sex relationships was dropped from reforms of the law on marriage and families. But almost on the same day, Vietnam pledged to move towards a law against discrimination that would ensure equality for individuals on the basis of… Read more »

US Consul General supports gay rights in Vietnam

The US Consul General has promised to work and promote LGBT rights in Vietnam and enable the Vietnamese society to further equality and social acceptance in the country “LGBT people, especially youths – need to know they have allies, friends. Gay, straight, old and young – we must work together to promote acceptance and provide… Read more »

Vietnam’s counterfeit condom crisis

Bangkok – A new report warning that nearly half of the commercially-available condoms in Vietnam are of poor quality has health officials worried the country’s tenuous gains in safer sex habits could be at risk. “Anyone who buys condoms in the private market now faces the risk of using low quality condoms. It affects sex… Read more »

Social stigma puts Vietnam’s gay men at higher risk of HIV/AIDS

Despite the government’s pro-gay stance, society’s marginalizing and prejudice against men who have sex with men put them at a greater risk of contracting HIV, says UNAIDS. “The evidence clearly shows that MSM in Vietnam are a population at a higher HIV risk that requires focus,” said Christopher Fontaine, an adviser for UNAIDS, the Joint… Read more »

HIV rising among men having sex with men in Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Long overshadowed by the government’s attention to other at-risk groups, Vietnam is failing to stem HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), a group that is hidden due to social stigma. “The evidence clearly shows that MSM in Vietnam are a population at a higher HIV risk… Read more »

How Thailand and Vietnam are moving on same-sex ‘marriage’

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognize gay and lesbian relationships? Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok and Hanoi While the focus has been on gay marriage in the West, same-sex partnership rights have also been on the move in South East Asia. We examine progress in Thailand and Vietnam,… Read more »

On the road to legalising same-sex relationships: Thailand and Vietnam

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognise same-sex relationships? Doug Sanders, back home in Thailand from two weeks in Hanoi, reports. Thailand In the fall of 2012, the issue of legal recognition for same-sex relationships was taken up by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights of… Read more »

VietPride 2013 to hit 12 cities countrywide in August

From Hai Phong to Can Tho, organisers of VietPride 2013 today announced a series of LGBT events that will take place in 12 cities across the country including in Ho Chi Minh City on Aug 24 and 25. The capital city of Hanoi saw some two hundred participants biking through its busy streets on August… Read more »

VIDEOS: Vietnam’s Pride March 2013

Video posts Video 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… Read more »

Gay rights march ahead in South-East Asia

Hanoi – This weekend hundreds of people will pedal through Hanoi on bicycles to mark the country’s second gay pride parade. The scale of events across the country, from dance performances, film screenings and a book launch, reflects wider acceptance of debate on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues over the last year in… Read more »

Second Hanoi Viet Pride Festival to be held this August

Hanoi will host the second ever Viet Pride Festival for the second year in a row this August under the theme ‘Strive with Pride’ Vietnam will host its second LGBT pride festival in two years from 2-4 August. The organizers of the 2013 Viet Pride Festival in Hanoi are hopeful of building on the success… Read more »

Fifty shades of pink

Some countries consider gay marriage, but elsewhere attitudes harden On the last Saturday in June the centre of Singapore’s very sober business district turned distinctly pink. Lesbians, gay men and others converged there for the annual celebration of what organisers call the “Freedom to Love”, also known as the “Pink Dot”, in honour of the… Read more »

Who are the clients of male brothels?

Male prostitution in Vietnam has existed for a long time but their services, which are illegal in the nation, have not been publicly mentioned, especially by local media. Normally, contact information for rings and male prostitutes are passed from hand to hand among ‘clients’ in confidence to avoid their relations being revealed or commented on.… Read more »

A look inside male brothels

Male sex workers in Vietnamese brothels usually don’t ‘receive’ guests who are strange or have no recommendation from a certain acquaintance, as the service is banned here. So, the opportunity to visit these brothels is quite limited due to security measures, especially after police arrested two male prostitutes in a hotel in Ho Chi Minh… Read more »

On gay marriage, could Vietnam beat U.S.? Column

LGBT freedom no threat to communists. Hanoi — International human rights advocates rarely give communist authorities here a thumbs up. Vietnamese bloggers, folk singers and journalists are behind bars for deeds and words that in many countries are considered birthright freedoms. Yet in one respect, Vietnam’s powers-that-be seem open-minded. As the U.S. Supreme Court ponders… Read more »

UNDP commends Vietnamese government for addressing the struggles of LGBT citizens, their parents and friends

Speaking at Vietnam’s first National LGBT Community Dialogue, UNDP Country Director Louise Chamberlain acknowledged the efforts of the Vietnamese government to address the struggles of LGBT citizens and their parents, family and friends. Speaking at Vietnam’s first National LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Community Dialogue held in Hanoi on June 5, United Nations Development… Read more »

Characteristics of a Sexual Network of Behaviorally Bisexual Men in Vientiane, Lao PDR, 2010.

Abstract Men who have sex with both men and women (behaviorally bisexual men) may be at increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission due to risky sexual behaviors. We recruited a sexual network comprised of behaviorally bisexual men and their sexual partners in Vientiane, Lao PDR in 2010 to inform our understanding of the potential… Read more »