Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — An annual event to celebrate the freedom to love and freedom of expression regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity will be held from Friday to Sunday.
The event, Viet Pride Hà Nội 2016, will take place with a range of activities including film screenings and talks about lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT), as well as musical events, speed dating, forum theatre, LGBT history exhibition, and a PFLAG panel.
The film screenings include My Friend from Faro (Germany), Contraccorriente (Peru), Laurence Anyways (Canada) and Bi, Don’t Be Afraid (Việt Nam).
Viet Pride will officially start on Friday night at the Hà Nội Goethe Institute but various workshops, concerts and meetings have been organised since earlier this month.
A world renowned LGBT activist, Evan Wolfson, the founder and director of the organisation “Freedom to Marry” will be present to talk about the marriage equality movement in the US.
In 2000, he was named one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in the world" and dubbed "the godfather of gay marriage." He will share the experience of the widely successful “Freedom to Marry” campaign and the lessons learned along the way on intersectionality.
The presentation and discussion is open to the public today at the Goethe Institute. It will be led by Nguyễn Hiền Nga (founder of Women Who Make A Difference organisation, Erasmus Mundus scholar).
In recent years, the LGBT movement in Việt Nam has made remarkable advances in social acceptance and legal reform partly thanks to efforts from the civil society sector.
Viet Pride Hà Nội comprises many organisations and individuals working for LGBT rights in Hà Nội, such as Hanoi Queer, NextGEN, CSAGA, iSEE, and is supported by numerous embassies and international NGOs.
“My most special feeling when I am at Pride is when I stand with other people and realise that I am not alone,” Chu Thanh Ha, a transgender man in a youth leadership group called NextGEN shared. “At the same time, you feel small but you also feel part of something so big. You must go your journey to find your place here, full of strength and pride. Come to Viet Pride, to find your pride.”
After its inception in 2012, Viet Pride has become one of the most awaited annual celebrations of the LGBT community and allies in Việt Nam.
The capstone activity, “Path of Pride”, will take place on Sunday morning with a bicycle rally from Giảng Võ Lake to the American Club, 21 Hai Bà Trưng Street, Hà Nội. — VNS