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LGBTI Vietnamese pedal for rights at Hanoi Pride

Hanoi Pride 2018 (Photo: Facebook)

More than 1,000 people joined the Hanoi Pride parade on Sunday (11 November).

The parade is unique in Asia, with LGBTI supporters getting on their bikes to peddle for rights.

Bicycles, scooters, and rickshaws bedecked in rainbow flags and glitter thronged through the colonial streets of Hanoi.

A walking parade followed the cycle ride. The day ended with a concert.

This year’s parade, the sixth since it was launched in 2012, took the theme ‘Love, Hanoi’. Organizers describe it as ‘our love letter to Hanoi and its people’.

‘Hanoi is home to million faces and loves of all colors’, a post on the Pride’s Facebook page said.

It aims to ‘erase prejudices and discrimination against the LGBTQ community in Vietnam’.

Hanoi Pride 2018 (Photo: Facebook)

Hanoi Pride 2018 (Photo: Facebook)

Trans rights and same-sex marriage

Specifically, this year, marchers pushed the government to act on transgender rights and same-sex marriage.

In 2015 Vietnam allowed people to change gender after undergoing surgery. But, the government has stalled on a long-awaited trans rights bill.

‘There is a high demand for a change in gender recognition in Vietnam but the demand cannot be met now. We don’t know how and when things will be more realistic,’ Vuong Kha Phong, secretary of Hanoi Pride 2018’s organizing committee, told AFP.

‘The LGBT community is waiting in limbo as they have rights in theory but the rights cannot be realized,’ he said.

Attendees also told AFP they hoped the parade would push authorities to recognize same-sex unions.

Neighboring Thailand looks as though it may become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex unions. The ruling military junta this month launched public consultations on a civil partnership bill.

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Author: Rik Glauert