Vietnam sees positive change towards gay people: survey

By Minh Hung, Thanh Nien News

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The network of parents, families and friends of LGBT people established in Ho Chi Minh City on January 27. Photo: Minh Hung The network of parents, families and friends of LGBT people established in Ho Chi Minh City on January 27. Photo: Minh Hung

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Vietnam's community of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people has seen positive change in the society over the past five years, according to advocacy group ICS. 
Tran Khac Tung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based group for LGBT rights, said society has changed in their interaction with the community.
“More LGBT people have become confident to live with their identity,” he said at a conference Tuesday to review five years of actions for LGBT rights.
According to a survey of 3,214 LGBT people, 44 percent said they witnessed positive change in the society’s attitude towards them.
Also, 37 percent said they were confident to come out.
Twenty percent of the respondents said the government has begun to recognize them and 10 percent said there have been many official activities for their community.
However, old cultural and social mores have deeply engraved in the mindset of many people as nearly half of the respondents said they are often victims of discrimination.
Up to 97 percent admitted to being discriminated against at least once.
LGBT are still being discriminated against in their family, at school and in the workplace, according to the survey.
One of every three LGBT people said they did not find any support and 10 percent of respondents said they thought about committing suicide.
Nearly half of the respondents are not aware whether they are infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexual-transmitted diseases because they have never tested.
The survey also found 75 percent of respondents need psychological consulting and 67 percent needs legal consulting.
At the conference, the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays network inaugurated with a message about equality and no discrimination towards LGBT people.
Besides activities to supports LGBT people, the network said it will coordinate with its partners to join talks with the government and legislators on policies and laws for LGBT rights in the next three years. 

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