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Hundreds gather at event supporting LGBT community

Hundreds gather at event supporting LGBT community

Thursday, January 03, 2013, 11:10 GMT+7

On Sunday, the Open Your Heart – Embrace Diversity event in Ho Chi Minh City held by ICS, an organization supporting for LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender) community’s rights in Vietnam, attracted around 800 people who came to show their support to the community.

Taking place at the city’s Labor Culture Palace, the 3-hour event featured music and dance performances, outdoor games, souvenir and information booths as well as makeup and photo shoot areas.

“The event aims to honor the diversity in people’s genders. We want people joining here to open their hearts to get to know and respect the diversity. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people are parts of life’s diversity,” Tran Khac Tung, director of ICS center shared at the event.

“We hope to organize bigger events in the future since we know that there are still many people, irrespective of whether they are LGBT or not, who want to support the LGBT community,” he added.

The event saw the participation of the Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Vietnam. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, member of PLFAG Vietnam – who has a gay son, shared she wanted a better and more equal life for her son.

“At first, our family got shocked knowing he’s a gay. It took us almost three years to accept it. Now it’s been 10 years since that day, our family has understood and loved our son much more than before,” she expressed.

“I understand that my son and homosexuals have to suffer the social stigma. So I just hope that other parents whose children are homosexuals have a tolerant look on their beloved ones,” she added. “Not only parents of homosexuals, heterosexuals’ parents who usually discriminate LGBT people, should also change their mind and be more sympathetic.”

The climax of the event was the dance performance against the background of PSY’s global phenomenon song “Gangnam Style” and Lady Gaga hit “Born This Way” which has been considered as an anthem for LGBT community. Around 500 young event attendants formed a big rainbow flag, the symbol of LGBT community.

“I feel shared, comfortable and more confident coming here. There’s no feeling that people will avoid and discriminate if they know I’m a gay,” 18- year-old N.T.T expressed his feeling.

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