Tens of Hanoi youths on May 17 wore wedding costumes and attended a parade to show their support on same-sex marriage.
The participatants included volunteers from the Information Connecting and Sharing Center (ICS) - an organization supporting for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) community’s rights in Vietnam, local LGBT people as well as people who support LGBT community.
The parade went through the city’s big streets, shopping malls and parks on a car decorated with the slogan “Yeu La Cuoi – Chung Toi Ung Ho Hon Nhan Dong Gioi” (Love is to marry – We support same-sex marriage).
“Honoring the diversity of human genders and emotion, I and my friend attended to take wedding photos and went to buy wedding rings in front of the curious eyes of many people. The ring seller hesitated at first when she saw a female couple wearing wedding dresses come to find rings, but she then turned friendly and enthusiastically welcome us,” “groom” Chu Thanh Ha, 23, student from Thang Long University expressed.
Le Trong Hieu, a transgender woman who said she was afraid of coming out due to the discrimination, also wore a bride dress on the day.
“I hope people will slowly erase the stigma of transgender people and will no longer call us “pe de” discriminating term used to describe transgender people),” Hieu shared.
23-year-old Vu Kieu Oanh, who earlier made a trip across Vietnam by bicycle to show her support to the LGBT community, also played the role of a “bride” at the event.
“Many people asked me if I am a homosexual. I’m willing to say that I’m ally of LGBT people,” she said. “Keep living positively, you’re not alone on this journey!” Oanh also delivered a message to the LGBT community.
The climax of the event is when the “grooms” and “brides” made the wedding vows with the witness of more than 100 people.
The parade attracted big attention from locals.
“Witnessing the happiness on their faces, listening to their stories, I think that it’s time for the society to have a fairer perspective on anybody, because we’re all human beings,” Hoang Huy Thanh, a 56-year-old teacher, expressed.
The parade is part of the activities to celebrate May 17, The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
Earlier, an event titled “Thuc Tinh Don Cau Vong” (Awakening To The Rainbow) was held in four biggest cities including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho on May 11 and 12 by the Vietnamese LGBT Community, with the help of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) and ICS.
According to a recent study of iSEE, 52% of marriages between homosexuals and heterosexuals in Vietnam end in divorce. Most homosexuals agree to marry heterosexuals due to pressure from their family, their wishes to have a marriage like other people, and to have children, or their filial duty. Half of the 52% who divorced said their marriages were unhappy, 17% said their partners did not accept that their wives/husbands are homosexuals, 21% were rejected by family members, and the rest divorced for some other reasons.