Unveiling the Vibrant LGBTQ+ Scene in Communist Vietnam

2 min read

LGBTQ+ in Vietnam

Vietnam is witnessing a blossoming queer scene characterized by stylish bars, lively cafes, clandestine parties, and flamboyant drag shows. The LGBTQ+ community is gaining visibility and acceptance, even in the context of the nation’s communist governance.

April_Licious’s Journey

April_Licious, a Filipino English teacher and drag queen in Hanoi, recalls the initial lack of a vibrant drag scene. The existing parties were insular, and her bold approach to drag was met with resistance. Undeterred, April_Licious began hosting her own popular events, emphasizing the need for performers to engage with audiences.

Hiro’s Openness

Hiro, a Japanese hotel manager in Hanoi, shares his positive experience of coming out at work. The supportive environment enabled him and others to live openly, fostering a sense of community and acceptance.

Phat on PrEP Accessibility

Phat, a Vietnamese copywriter and property manager, discusses the accessibility of PrEP in Saigon, highlighting the ease of obtaining it for free at STI clinics, though its use is less common in areas like Phu Quoc due to a smaller LGBTQ+ population.

Winnie Wakanda’s Experience

Winnie Wakanda, a South African English teacher and drag queen, expresses his gratitude for the tolerance he experiences in Vietnam. Despite the absence of legal recognition for same-sex marriage, he feels a significant level of acceptance.

Ouissam’s Musical Haven

Ouissam, a French-Algerian DJ and co-owner of Savage in Hanoi, is drawn to the city’s electronic music scene. Collaborations with drag crews and participation in international festivals underscore the vibrant, inclusive atmosphere.

Tin’s Anecdote

Tin, a Vietnamese freelance tour guide, shares a humorous anecdote about the local gay community’s playful use of the number “21,” a term synonymous with “whore” in Vietnamese. His story of a serendipitous meeting with a future boyfriend underscores the unexpected, yet meaningful connections within the LGBTQ+ community.

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The article provides insights into the lives of various LGBTQ+ individuals living in communist Vietnam. Despite the political backdrop, the queer community is thriving, marked by a surge in social venues, increased visibility, and a general atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance. Each individual shares their unique experiences, painting a diverse and vibrant picture of queer life in Vietnam.

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