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Vietnam holds 1st gay pride parade in Hanoi

Published on Aug 5, 2012 2:12 PM
A rainbow flag (left) displaying the words "Viet Pride" is seen outside the roadside entrance of the German Cultural Goeth Institute, venue of the small but growing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community event in Hanoi on Aug 4, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

HANOI (AFP) - Dozens of cyclists decorated with balloons and rainbow flags streamed through the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Sunday for the first-ever gay pride parade in the communist state.

The event, organised by the city's small but growing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, went ahead peacefully with no attempt by police to stop the colourful convoy of about 100 activists.

"It's time to eliminate discrimination against people of different sexuality. I am straight, but my cousin is a lesbian," said participant Kyle Tran, 19, wearing a red headband saying "I love LGBT".

Homosexuality remains largely taboo in communist Vietnam, where Confucian social mores - with their emphasis on tradition and family - still dominate. Gays are routinely portrayed in the media as comical figures or as people suffering from a condition that can be treated.

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