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Vietnamese trans woman, husband to sponsor dream weddings for LGBT couples

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 16:50 GMT+7
Vietnamese trans woman, husband to sponsor dream weddings for LGBT couples
Lam Khanh Chi and Phi Hung at their wedding. Photo: Supplied

A Vietnamese transgender woman and her husband have launched an annual campaign to sponsor the weddings of ten LGBT couples in honor of their own wedding anniversary.

Lam Khanh Chi, a 42-year-old transgender singer, and her husband Phi Hung have been an inspiration to Vietnam’s LGBT community since their fairytale wedding captured headlines in 2018.

This year, the couple decided to use their fame in order to give back to the LGBT community that supported their relationship from the onset by launching the first edition of an annual campaign named “Yeu La Cuoi” (Let’s Get Married).

Through this initiative, Chi and Hung will celebrate their own wedding anniversary by fully sponsoring the weddings of ten LGBT couples.

“We plan to hold this event annually until we can no longer afford it,” Chi and her husband said, explaining that they are so thankful to have had such a wonderful wedding that they hope other members of the community are able to experience their own dream celebrations.

The ten couples whose wedding celebrations will receive sponsorship will be selected based off their living condition, the length of their relationship, and an interview and family visit conducted by both Chi and Hung.

So far, the Yeu La Cuoi project has been received by the queer community with open arms for the support its provided couples in gaining the confidence to be proud of who they are.

Lam Khanh Chi and Phi Hung (dressed in white) pose during the announcement of their “Yeu La Cuoi” campaign. Photo: Supplied
Lam Khanh Chi and Phi Hung (dressed in white) pose during the announcement of their “Yeu La Cuoi” campaign. Photo: Supplied

Lam Khanh Chi began her singing career as Lam Chi Khanh – a famous male singer who rose to stardom in the early 2000s. 

At age 40, well after she had retired from showbiz, she made the decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

After the surgery, the general public was quick to criticize Khanh Chi’s transformation.  That was when she met Hung.

“He was like a knight that came to rescue me when I was at my worst,” Chi said, sharing that he stood by her side, offered her mental support, and promised they would get married once things calmed down.

The couple’s luxurious wedding was held in 2018 and featured the duo donning ten sophisticatedly designed suits and gowns over the course of the celebration. 

A year later they had a son thanks to a surrogate mother in Thailand.

Khanh Chi and Phi Hung on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied
Khanh Chi and Phi Hung on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied

According to latest updates, eight couples have already been selected to participate in this year’s “Yeu La Cuoi” campaign, including Nini An and Nguyen Su Yen Mi, two prominent members of the Vietnamese LGBT community recently featured on Tuoi Tre News.

“Thanks to Chi, we’ll get to hold a wedding we’ve always dreamed about but never thought would come true,” said Nini An.

Of course, hosting ten dream weddings comes with a hefty price tag.

The estimated expense for “Yeu La Cuoi” is about VND2 billion (US$87,000), but that seems like a small price to pay for the confidence that will be given to the local LGBT community.

“What Chi’s doing conveys the message that everyone deserves a proper wedding regardless of their sexual orientation,” Vietnamese transgender singer Cindy Thai Tai said.

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