Photos show lives, loves of gay community
Updated : 12/29/2012 09:52 GMT + 7
A new photo exhibition offers a closer look into the daily lives and feelings of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Viet Nam who continue to suffer from discrimination.
The exhibition entitled Mo-Bang-Yeu (Openness-Equality-Love) opened here yesterday gathering photos from three prior exhibitions on the lives of the nation's LGBT community.
Mo (Openness) feature photos taken by members of the community themselves which were first presented to the public in 2009-10. While conditions have changed since then, the courage to be open to one's true self and overcome fear remains the same.
Bang (Equality) tells nine stories about the relationship between the LGBT community and society, underscoring the desire for equality.
Yeu (Love) is the journey of photographer Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) to answer the question: what does gay love look like? The answer, through the photos, may disappoint some because it turns out that the love of gay people doesn't look that much different from those of anyone else.
"Love is love, because all loves are equally honoured, and where there is love there is a family," Hai said.
Photo: Maika Elan
Through her photos, homosexuals reveal their personal moments and daily routines. From bathing, eating, relaxing, or modelling together in underwear, to sharing activities with family members, Hai makes use of light, shadow and the subjects' facial expressions to highlight the love they feel for each other.
"The exhibition is a chance for LGBT people to express their ideas and opinions to everyone," said Le Quang Binh, managing director of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), the exhibition organiser.
"Through the exhibition, we hope that love can be the key to open the hearts of everyone, so that they can support LGBT people."
Whether denied or accepted, opposed or supported, LGBT people were living and working with us, he said.
"Everyday, they love or hate, are happy or suffering. They are our children, our family, our friends, our relatives, our neighbours, our colleagues," he said.
Luong The Huy, a member of the LGBT community, said he hoped that the exhibition would provide the public with more positive images of gays and lesbians, helping them exist more easily in society, with less discrimination.
"LGBT people form a normal, natural and integral part of every society and every culture,"
Huy said. "People should accept them and be kind to them."
The exhibition runs through January 12 at the Thai Phien Flower Garden, on Thai Phien Street, next to the Vincom Towers.