Contest in Can Tho spreads positive messages of LGBT community

“You are the happiest when you stay true to yourself and your gender identity”. That is the main message of the "LGBT + Inspiration" Contest Finale held in Can Tho, the capital city of the Mekong Delta on October 9.

This was an interesting and important open forum for LGBT + community members to share their own stories and speak out about eliminating social stereotypes towards their community. Source: Save the Children

Launched in last August, the contest “Writing and Public Speaking Contest on LGBT+ Community” (LGBT + Inspiration) creates space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community members to share their own stories and speak out about eliminating social stereotypes towards their community, as well as seeking mutual understanding from teachers and parents.

Contestants vary from high school students and LGBT+ youth activists to people with disabilities and teachers who closely support the community. The contest have received 36 submissions with topics ranging from their daily life story to their experience of exercising the rights as LGBT+ community members.

After three rounds, Ms. Nguyen Thi Diem and Pham Thi Cam Tuyen has won First place. Ms. Diem – a high school teacher, has touched the audience’s heart with her story about overcoming her own prejudice towards LGBT+ people and supporting her transgender niece. Meanwhile, Cam Tuyen reassured us that “It is not the social norms but rather your own choices that will decide who you are and how far you can go in life.”

The "LGBT + Inspiration" contest is hoped to spread the voice and wishes of Ms. Diem, Cam Tuyen as well as the LGBT+ community for a society where everyone is respected while fully and equally enjoying their rights. This contest will be a key annual event where positive messages of LGBT+ youth are amplified.

The "LGBT + Inspiration" Contest is part of the “Child Rights Governance – LGBT Youth and Children Have Access to Education, Health and Social services” project co-implemented by Save the Children, Can Tho Union of Friendship Organizations and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) with the financial support from Norwegian Organization for Sexual and Gender Diversity (FRI).

The project aims to support LGBT children and youth to fully participate in social services and gain equal access to education, employment, health, housing and political activities in accordance with the laws of Vietnam.

Phuong Minh