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Eight in ten Vietnam gays see positive change toward them

Eight in ten Vietnam gays see positive change toward them

Nearly 80% of LGBTI Vietnamese say society had changed positively toward them over the last five years, according to a new survey.

The survey released Tuesday (27 January) found that 44% of respondents had witnessed ‘much’ positive change from 2009 to 2013.

The most voted changes were confidence to be themselves, government recognition and LGBTI activities.

ICS Center surveyed 3,214 LGBTI Vietnamese citizens aged 16 and above in online forums between July and August 2014Ӭ.

Tran Khac Tung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based LGBTI rights organization, said society had changed very positively toward LGBTI issues and this had had a great impact on the lives of LGBTI Vietnamese.

‘We as individuals and as a community feel confident and comfortable more than ever about being LGBT,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘Our recent online survey reveals that almost 80% of respondents have come out to at least one or two persons and have been accepted. Interestingly, one of the reasons they chose to come out is to help people to have correct understanding about LGBT.’

However, 13% of respondents had never come out with anyone and nearly half were in the closet to their families.

Third-quarters said coming out to family was ‘difficult’ or ‘extremely difficult’ and 67% rated stigma in families as ‘quite serious’ or ‘serious.’ Common forms of stigma and discrimination in the family include scolding, being forced to wear different clothes, threatening partners, forced counseling/treatment and disownment.

Vietnam lifted a ban on gay marriage earlier this mont but same-sex unions are still not recognized.

One in four respondents said they wanted to marry to a same-sex partner if  gay marriage was legalized and 26.53% wanted to marry to a same sex partner in country where gay marriage is recognized.

However, 12.7% of respondents said they intended to marry a person of the opposite sex.

‘We are very hopeful and positive about the future of Vietnamese LGBT people for three reasons,’ said Tung.

‘First, the Vietnamese LGBT community is empowered and ready to stand up and advocate for their rights. Second, there is strong support from society and our government has started taking measures to protect the rights of LGBT communities. Third, we have strong support from the international community at large.’