‘You just have to filter out others’ judgment and live your life the way that makes you feel happy’
Two men in northern Vietnam embraced their love with a heartwarming wedding on Monday in the blessing of their family and friends.
The young couple walked down the aisle at one of Hai Phong’s biggest wedding and convention centers, marking the first time a gay wedding had been held in the city.
Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Vietnam, but gay couples are free to hold weddings because a ban was overturned in 2015.
The men, Quoc Khanh and Thanh Loi, celebrated their love in the arms of their mothers, relatives and friends.
“Just like food, happiness is the energy that keeps us vitalized to work and enjoy life,” Khanh spoke during the wedding ceremony.
“You just have to filter out others’ judgment and live your life the way that makes you feel happy. Nobody is paying you to live the way they deem fit. At the end of the day, what matters is being a good human being to the society, your family and the ones you love.”
The ‘fairy-tale’ wedding has made local headlines as netizens applauded the men’s courage in defying social norms against homosexuality that still exist in some parts of the country.
“I wish you endless happiness in your love and on the path that you have chosen to walk down,” a user commented under a photo of the couple posted on social media.
“It always moves me to see people brave enough to overcome barriers and come together in the name of love. You have my admiration.”
Despite Vietnam’s remarkable progress in fostering an open-minded public attitude toward the LGBT community, same-sex couples are still reluctant to hold public weddings for fear of discriminative judgment.
In 2015 the country removed the organization of same-sex weddings as a legal offense and lifted an administrative fine against the activity.
Transgender people who have undergone sex reassignment surgery are allowed to register under their new sex following a landmark law that took effect last year.
Gay pride events have been an annual celebration since 2012, joined by hundreds of thousands across Vietnam.