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 of last year’s event.
[In 2012] for the first time ever, Vietnam saw the rainbow flag waving at its capital’s streets, bringing tears to the eyes of many Vietnamese LGBTs,’ organizers said in a statement.
‘Nevertheless, equality and dignity for gay people are yet to become a reality. Misunderstanding and social stigmas are still widespread. Insinuation, ridicule, parents’ disapproval, and humiliation are common experiences of gay people.
‘In schools, families, offices, factories, gay people’s dignity and security are still compromised. There are still people, especially the young ones, living in fear of being disowned, being hated, being treated differently.’
Aiming to solve these issues, Viet Pride 2013 will be providing a Strive with Pride youth scholarship program to members of LGBT community in Vietnam at Viet Pride’s opening night.
The Strive with Pride scholarship program aims to assist disadvantaged LGBT youth to acquire vocational training, undergraduate education, or to study English and Viet Pride 2013 has received 50,000,000 VND (nearly $2,600 US) in donations towards the program.
Viet Pride 2013 will also include a Say Yes to Employment Equality Campaign that aims to explore LGBT issues in the business sector and will include multinational and local corporations based in Vietnam.
The Say Yes to Employment Equality Campaign hopes to raise awareness about sexuality in the workplace, to create a safe and tolerant workplace environment for LGBT workers, and to inform LGBT consumers’ buying decisions.
The campaign, which has received support from employers including the British Council, Oriflame cosmetics, and the Goethe Institute, will be launched on Viet Pride Opening Night.
Viet Pride 2013 will also feature a series of LGBT film screenings and panel discussions with guest speakers sharing about their experiences going from being survivors of adversity to role models of inspiration.
World Press Photo award winner Maika Elan, LGBT themed writer Nguyen Ngoc Thach and My Best Gay Friend sitcom creator Huynh Nguyen Dang Khoa will be guest speakers.
The festival will conclude on April 4 in Vietnamese style with an LGBT pride bicycle rally through the streets of Hanoi, followed by a party at the Hanoi Social Club Café.
‘Viet Pride joins the global call to end prejudice, discrimination, shame and invisibility on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity,’ organizers say.
‘It forges the truth that every human is born free and equal, and to love someone is never a criminal act, a religious sin, a medical illness, or a social evil.’
Vietnam was praised earlier this year by the United Nations for its progress on LGBT issues and its Health Minister hopes Vietnam will become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
by Andrew Potts
Source – Gay Star News