The third-ever gay pride event was held in Hanoi this weekend.
Around 300 activists led a colourful parade through Hanoi on Sunday in the nation’s largest ever gay pride event, as communist Vietnam shows signs of increasing tolerance of sexual difference. The city streets were awash with rainbow flags, as a mainly young crowd cycled and danced through the capital urging an end to discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Homosexuality remains taboo in Vietnam, but a series of gradual advances, including the removal of fines for same-sex wedding parties, have been welcomed by the LGBT community in recent years. In 2012 lawmakers even briefly considered legalising gay marriage — a move which would have thrust the authoritarian country to the forefront of gay rights in Asia — but stopped short. Sunday’s event was the third gay pride parade in Vietnam and attracted a wide range of people including local activists, foreigners and curious bystanders. “I’m here for the rights of homosexuals. I want them to be treated fairly like everyone else,” Le Kieu Oanh, a 20 year-old art student told AFP.