Topic: Vietnam: fledgling gay rights group begins to organize
Babbler # 4795
posted 01 March 2006 04:15 AM
quote:(Hanoi) It only has 25 members, but Hanoi's Hai Dang is making an important statement in a country where gays and lesbians hide in the shadows.
Viet Nam with its tightly controlled society shuns sexual minorities and most gays fear reprisals from family and non-gay friends. Although there are some clubs in the capital that cater to a gay clientele they are few and far between and often operate illegally.
Hai Dang, which translates into Light House, hopes to change perceptions - both in Vietnamese society in general and among gays.
Funded in large part by the Center for HIV/AIDS and Family Health International one of the new organizations biggest tasks will be AIDS education.
Group members frequently go to gay clubs to distribute information on HIV/AIDS and to promote safe-sex. But, one thing it is not doing is advocating civil rights laws something that could get it closed down by
the Communist government.
[Director Pham Thi] Nga said he hopes that it would help give gay Vietnamese a greater sense
He also said that he hopes to open a Hai Dang in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, and in other Vietnamese cities.
Wonderful! Good on' em!!! I wish them all kinds of good luck!
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003
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