Rainbow in the rain: Vietnam celebrates global day against homophobia

By Minh Hung, Thanh Nien News

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More than 1,000 people have gathered in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday to celebrate the International Day Against Homophibia, Biphobia and Transphobia, May 17.
Many LGBT and their supporters arrived early for the event, held at the 3A Complex Station on Ton Duc Thang Street.
Many had to stand in the rain to attend the event Rainbow Welcome, hosted by the LGBT network ICS in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hong Vy, who wanted to be known as a member of the LGBT community, said she felt at home: "I have not come out to my family yet. These activities will be a motivation for me to do so."
The event offered a place for LGBT people to share their stories.
A couple at the event.
Most people wear rainbow headbands and hold rainbow flags. Rainbow is a symbol of diversity and has been commonly used by LGBT people.
At the event, LGBT people shared their stories and hopes for amendments to the Civil Code to have their rights recognized.
Although lawmakers lifted a ban against same-sex marriage, they have not legally recognized it nor stipulated relevant regulations involving LGBT rights.
Meanwhile, LGBT people have become more active in fighting for their rights over the past several years.
A couple pose for a picture while attending the event in the rain.
At the event, parents of LGBT children shared their stories of how they recognize and accept their children.
The event featured music performances by LGBT people.
Fashion shows are also common among transgender community.
Transgender people have faced discrimination in the society. Many have to work as sex workers or singers at parties for meager money.
At another event, ICS hosted a meeting with parents of LGBT people at the Pink Rabbit Café where LGBT people were consulted on various problems they face.
"Any parent would love their child. Just live strong and be successful and show that you should not be discriminated," a mother of an LGBT person said.

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