Aug 052012
First gay pride parade kicks off in Hanoi

Some hundreds of people in the capital city of Hanoi on Sunday joined a gay pride parade to raise social awareness against anti-gay discrimination.

The bicycle parade, themed “For a world without gender discrimination”, also attracted the attention of many people in the capital.

The parade, held by Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), not only attracted many young Vietnamese people but also attracted a number of foreigners.

The participants, decorated with balloons and rainbow flags, started at 8am at My Dinh National Stadium, and then rode along Cau Giay, Lieu Giai and Hoang Hoa Tham streets before ending their parade at the Hanoi Botanical Park.

With the slogan “Difference, but no discrimination,” many young people are excited about participating in the activities of Viet Pride 2012. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Tuan Anh, a third-year student at the National Economics University of Hanoi, told Tuoi Tre that the meaningful activity offer him a better understanding of gays and lesbians.

“This activity not only offers people a better understand of gay people but also helps many people realize the value of their own identity,” said Pham Thi Mai, a cyclist participating the event.

The cycling activity supporting homosexual is the main part of a chain of events of Viet Pride 2012 program, thereby encouraging people to take pride with their own identity and strengthen community connections.

Despite the hot weather in the capital city, the event still attracts many local people. Photo: TuoiTre

The parade follows recent gay pride celebrations in Myanmar and Laos, reflecting signs of liberalizing social attitudes in parts of Southeast Asia. Homosexuality remains largely taboo in Vietnam, according to AFP.

Many foreigners also actively get involved in the event with the young Vietnamese in Hanoi.

Vietnam currently forbids same-sex unions. Any move to legalize gay marriage would make Vietnam the first nation in Asia to do so.