Huong Giang made history in Vietnam when she came out live during Vietnam Idol as a transgender woman.
On Thursday (6 September) the TV talent show jury delivered their verdict to the 25-year-old finalist from Hanoi, praising her effort and determination.
Judge and film director Nguyen Quang Dung asked if Giang had previously auditioned for Vietnam Idol. After a few hesitant seconds the contestant admitted that she previously auditioned under a male name, Nguyen Ngoc Hieu.
Quang Dung praised Giang saying: ‘I really appreciate young people who dare to be true to themselves and other people. Whatever you do, you take responsibility for it.’
The jury asked the young girl what made her decide to change to which she responded: ‘I’ve got passion for singing and every single change in my life is for art. I didn’t change to win love or any kind of happiness. I think this is the real me and I have to change to be myself onstage.’
The three judges expressed their admiration of the young girl, who has been so brave to be and reveal herself publicly.
Quand Dung told Giang: ‘Since you once joined this competition, I feel more admiration for you because you were not good in the previous contest. And with such a change, from appearance to voice, I think you did a thing that not everyone can do.’
‘I know you had been afraid of revealing something true about yourself, but we all respect the truth and see no reason for you to avoid the path that you’ve chosen.’
In an interview with Infonet newswire Giang talked about how she felt when she answered Quang Dung: ‘Actually, I was confused and wanted to run away. But after thinking twice, I found no reason to deny my past.’
She also said that even if she wasn’t asked about her past she would nevertheless eventually come out: ‘I’ve always wanted to share my true story, since everything about you is revealed when you are in the public eye. I just didn’t know how to come out in the best way.’
She said that the honesty of the show’s producers and that she felt she was being treated fairly and protected helped her make that decision.
She said her life changed after the transgender surgery: ‘In fact, it’s interesting when you live in two completely different worlds. You know who’s really good to you and vice versa. I also realized tons of differences in life. But after all that, I’m now confident and much happier.’
Giang also said she understands how many LGBT people feel, choosing to be true to themselves, overcome difficulties and choose to live their dreams: ‘People were born in different circumstances. It doesn’t matter how you were born, the point is what you can do with what you were born with. Honestly, I just want to say that destiny is what you can change and don’t accept the life that others give you.’
See Giang preform and her coming out during the interview with the jury here: