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    Posted July 25, 2012 by
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    First ever VietPride to celebrate sexual diversity

    Hanoi, July 19th 2012 – 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.
    Growing up in a culture that revolves around binary gender roles and emphasizes conformity, Vietnamese gay men and women, especially the young ones, internalized the homophobia and stigmas endorsed by society. Offensive words addressing homosexual people like “Pê đê” (from the word Pedophile) or “Bóng” that parents teach their children, or friends making jokes about others, pathologise homosexuality as a mental illness, and even worse, a moral transgression. The internalized homophobia and self-stigmatization causes many young emerging Vietnamese gay people to attempt suicide as a solution for their helplessness and self-directed guilt. It is also the fear of being condemned and losing the love and care given to them if they choose to stop living a lie that put millions of LGBT lives in Vietnam in suffering.
    The untold miseries must be told. The invisible faces must be made visible. The silenced voice must be heard. Equal rights must be given. All these goals cannot be accomplished overnight but require an undivided commitment, concerted effort, and collective action to make human rights and dignity for LGBT people a reality. For this reason, Pride has been celebrated annually since 1969 in all continents of the world to remind each and every one of us that we are born free and equal and it is not a crime or a sin to love the person we love.
    This year, Viet Pride will be celebrated on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th August 2012 for the first time in Vietnam. The event will host a cultural diversity of film screenings, research presentation, and music live performance at Goethe Institute organized by CSAGA and a public bike parade organized by the LGBT community in Hanoi. “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 transcends group boundaries and differences; and to create an official and interactive forum where pro-gay organizations and beneficiary community come together, interact, and foster trust and collaborations”, shared the Viet Pride program manager Nguyen Thanh Tam.
    In celebrating the first ever Pride in Vietnam, let us dedicate the first weekend of August to recognize 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.
    Nguyen Van Anh
    Director of CSAGA
    Visit www.vietpride2012.weebly.com for more details
    Nguyen Thanh Tam – Program Developer
    Tel: 0902694724; email: tamnguyen@csaga.org.vn
    CSAGA would like to dedicate special appreciation to all donors and people who have helped to make this event come true:
    Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender- Family - Women and Adolescents
    Phone: (844) 3754 0421
    Fax: (844) 3793 0297
    Website: http://csaga.org.vn
    E-mail: csaga@csaga.org.vn
    Address: Builidng A9, Com Vong Street, Dich Vong Hau ward, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
    Swedish Embassy
    Goethe Institute
    Canadian Embassy
    Youth Motivation Group
    Institute for Studies of Society – Economy and Environment
    Information Connecting and Sharing
    LeBox Produktion
    Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population
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