Hanoi, Aug 09, 2016 – Viet Pride Hanoi 2016 is an annual event to celebrate the freedom to love and freedom of expression regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The official celebration takes place from August 19 to August 28 with the theme “Path of Pride”. The capstone activity – Viet Pride bicycle rally – takes place in the morning of August 21.
This year, the celebration continues to highlight the Viet Pride Scholarship, Work with Pride campaign, together with a range of other activities including film screenings and talks about lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders (LGBT), as well as musical events, speed dating, forum theatre, LGBT history exhibition, and a PFLAG panel.
A world renowned LGBT activist, Mr. Evan Wolfson, the founder and director of the organisation “Freedom to Marry” will also be present to share about the marriage equality movement in the United States of America.
“In 2012, when you were asked why you should be proud, I think almost everyone in the LGBT community would find it hard to answer. But something was there, something urging that you could feel but you could not really describe. And over the years, I started to realise the reasons why I should be proud of myself, and of my people. It is a very personal path for each individual to find that reason, it is their path of pride”, said Pham Khanh Binh, the leader of Hanoi Queer, one of the organising members of Viet Pride Hanoi Committee in 2016.
Chu Thanh Ha, a transgender man in a youth leadership group called NextGEN shared, “My most special feeling when I am in Pride is when I stand with other people and realise that I am not alone. 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”.
The Viet Pride Hanoi Committee in 2016 comprises many organisations and individuals working for LGBT rights in Hanoi, such as 6+, Hanoi Queer, NextGEN, CSAGA, iSEE, and is supported by numerous embassies and international NGOs. Most notable supporters include the Goethe Institute, Civil Rights Defenders, the European Union, the United States of America, Netherlands, and Canada. The Committee also welcomes new supporters including the embassies of Belgium, Peru, Argentina, and Human Rights Campaign.
Starting from 2012, Viet Pride Hanoi has become one of the most awaited annual celebrations of the LGBT community and ally in Vietnam. For half a decade, Viet Pride has contributed significantly to the important progresses in laws and society for LGBT Vietnamese.