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1,200 flashmob for LGBT rights in Vietnam

Rainbow flags, Lady Gaga and dance routines in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang City celebrate the fight for LGBT rights in Vietnam on 26 September 2012 | By Anna Leach ,LGBT rights flashmob in Hanoi

Vietnam celebrated LGBT rights with dancing and music at three flashmobs in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang on Sunday.

Rainbow flags, dance routines and a helium balloon release created a colorful spectacle with over one thousand people gathering in total in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang to present the message ‘Yeu la Yeu’ (Love is Love).

The events were professionally organized by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) and Information Connecting and Sharing (ICS), with a slick website providing all the information, including a dance routine tutorial.

‘This is the first time we have such an open event at this large scale, where the Vietnamese LGBT community can prove that they do exist as part of the society, live and love just like everyone else,’ Huynh Minh Thao, communications manager at ICS, told Gay Star News.

‘First it’s about increasing visibility, second is about “Love is love”, a motto that we want to promote through these flashmobs.’

The flashmobs were supported by the national broadcaster’s youth-orientated channel VTV6, and reported on mainstream channel VTV3 and Ho Chi Min City station HTV1. Local press also reported positively on the events.

The flashmob in Da Nang, a port city on the central coast, was self-organized by the LGBT community after ICS led an empowerment workshop there last month.

Le said in an interview with Gay Star News last month that LGBT rights have moved on significantly in Vietnam thanks to iSEE’s five-year strategy of educating the media.

This year has seen several milestones in the progression of LGBT rights in the southeast Asian nation.

In June the government announced a consultation into legalizing same-sex marriage in the communist one-party state and in August the first Vietnam Pride was held with a cycle ride through the streets of Hanoi.

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