Swedish human rights body gives $6,000 to Vietnam gay pride

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Vietnam held its first ever gay pride last year. However, there were a few drawbacks to the event. First, the 2012 Vietnamese pride did not have governmental authorization, and second, the organization did not have adequate funding.

ҬӬThis year, Viet Pride is trying to change all that. Nguyen Thanh Tam, the founder of Viet Pride 2013, has just submitted an application to the Vietnamese Government and is hopeful for a positive outcome.

Nguyen is also seeking funding from many major corporations and international organizations.

He has received $6,000 from a Swedish human rights organization for these purposes.

The funding that came from the Swedish Civil Rights Defenders will be used to fund a campaign against discrimination. Viet Pride hopes to host a screening of a film that illuminates the issue of gay shame that is prevalent in the country.

The Vietnamese government has been historically reluctant to publicly sanction LGBT events. There has never been an official gay public event held in any major city in Vietnam. LGBT organizations largely have to work under the radar and gay individuals often remain private about their sexual orientation.

“In Vietnam, we and LGBT communities pursue the work of public education and building an open space for dialogues between LGBT and non-LGBT people,” a spokesperson from Trung Tam ICS, the leading LGBT resource center in Vietnam, told 429Magazine.

“We think most of stigma and discrimination among our people, including government officials, stem from an environment of hetero-normativity and ignorance. Stigma against LGBT is less common in large cities and young generations, while the most popular source of LGBT intolerance come from their own families.”

ҬӬNguyen wants Viet Pride 2013 to be focused on educating the Vietnamese community on gay issues and gay health, more specifically to inform gay youths of where to seek assistance and what resources are out there for HIV prevention and treatment.

Viet Pride 2013 will be held this year from August 2-4. The event will premiere a bicycle ride through the city center of Hanoi, with or without governmental authorization.

429Magazine

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