Gay Pride March returns to Vietnam capital

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Multi-color flags at the 2012 edition of Vietnamese gay march in Hanoi

Several film screenings and talk shows on sexual diversity are planned to be held in Hanoi this weekend to raise awareness and foster acceptance of alternative sexuality.

Viet Pride 2013 will invite prominent artists supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture, including Maika Elan, who won the 2012 World Press Photo contest with a series of photos of homosexual couples, Nguyen Ngoc Thach, who has written several LGBT books, and Huynh Nguyen Dang Khoa, who produced, directed, and played the lead role as himself in sitcom My Best Gay Friends.

The three-day program from August 2 will be the Vietnamese version of the Gay Pride March, which has become a worldwide event since beginning in New York, the US, in 1969.

It was first organized last year by the Center for Studied and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents and other independent agencies.

This year's event, which has the slogan "Strive with Pride," will open with a screening of The Truth About Jane, a 2000 US television drama about a lesbian girl, at 8 p.m. Friday.

French rom-com Comme Les Autres (2008) about a loving gay couple will be screened at 11:30 a.m. Saturday followed by Thailand's "Beautiful Boxer" (2003) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Thai film is based on the life of a Muay Thai boxer who underwent a sex-change operation and became a woman.

On Saturday there will be two talk shows. The first, about "Passing on the Inspiration," will feature Fulbright scholarship recipient Nguyen Thanh Tam, USAIDS Pathways participant Nguyen Anh Thuan, and a student at a Canadian University, Ngo Van Hieu.

The other, at 1:30 p.m, will be about LGBT artists and feature the aforementioned artists.

A fashion show by transgender designer Trung Anh, who finished in the top six in the 2013 Project Runway Vietnam, a local adaptation of the popular American reality show, will be another highlight on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

On Sunday, like last year, the program will close with a bicycle rally starting at Giang Vo Lake. It will be followed by the screening of two films France's A Love to Hide (2005) and the US's Boys Don't Cry (1999) about a transgender teen.

All activities will be free and held in Vietnamese and English. 

The screenings, talk shows and fashion show will be held at the Goethe-Institut, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, while drinks and board games will be available to participants from 7 p.m. Saturday at the Hanoi Social Club, 6 Ngo Hoi Vu Street.

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