The play, titled ‘Duoc La Chinh Minh’ (To Be Myself) attracted hundreds of people in an unprecedented show of support for the LGBT community in the Vietnam’s second biggest city, Ho Chi Minh city.
Directed by Bui Nhu Lai, the play presented a mosaic of the rich and colorful lives of Vietnam’s LGBT community which previously was shunned and avoided as a taboo subject.
The play was staged (16 September) in the beautiful Ho Chi Minh city Paris inspired Opera House is a mix of body installation art, contemporary dancing and acting. It was was also staged earlier in the year in the capital Hanoi.
It was inspired by the Hanoi-based non-profit Institute of Social Economic and Environment’s (ISEE) study called ‘Cau Chuyen Cua 40 Nguoi Nu Yeu Nu’ (Stories of 40 Women Loving Women).
Le Quang Binh, director of the ISEE told the audience: ‘I know many people in this theatre, as well as out there are wondering to themselves who they are. LGBT are suffering criticism from society, and even from their loved ones.
‘After this drama, we hope everyone will join hands to protect LGBT people and we do believe that if we act together, we can change the society as well as shorten the road to equality for the LGBT community.’
The performance by actresses and actors from Troupe 3 of Hanoi’s Tuoi Tre Theater narrated a story of how LGBT people struggle and rise above the social and familial stigma attached to them to be who they are.
At the end of the play, the message ‘Be yourself, happiness is in your hands’ was sent as support to those who are suffering social discrimination and prejudice.
23 year-old spectator Thanh Tam was deeply moved by the play, she struggled with tears telling Tuoitre News agency :’I’ve been waiting for almost 10 years to see a drama protecting homosexuals like me.
‘I have been through a life in which no one cares about me, no one listens to me. Thank you for giving me such a great drama, thank you for supporting us.’
At the end of the show, half of the audience stood up to show that they’re proud to be members of the city’s LGBT community. This was followed by everyone attending the play joining together by holding hands in a show of solidarity and support for the LGBT community.
In recent years, the Vietnam has been increasingly making unprecedented strides in promoting more tolerant views towards its LGBT communities. In March, the Australian government provided VND2 billion (US$100,000 â‚¬ 76,500) for a project to raise public awareness of the issues LGBT people face in Vietnam.