Tagged: ho chi minh city

Hoang, Illustrator, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Hoang, in his own words:“People are born in a game of life and gay people are born in harder level of the game.

To me, being gay doesn’t mean anything, being yourself is matter. Because when you are who you are, what you are you will know what to do. During my “boy-time” being gay was all about discovering my own questions and gave myself the defend when hearing that is not ok, is freak and unnatural, especial with a shy boy like me.

My (coming out) story, it happened a bit late, I always wait for the right moment and it happened when I was 25. First I came out to my close friend, I think she is ready for it, and it was relief to me with her caring: “that’s why I took you to see another gay friend of mine”. That made me more confident to talked to another friends. But it didn’t work easy to my mom, she was confuse and hasn’t believed it yet, she still think everything has its cure… she believe it is a choice and can fix it. This gonna be a challenge, still is my challenge…

But now with more confident to be who I am , what I am to care less about people’s opinions to care more about what I wanna be and how I wanna be. As a gay man I believe we should not to sensitive about what people think and say about gay. I believe that love is fair to everyone, has no different and I believe gay is a part of the life, no one can deny. That is a fact and I’m happy to be a one of it.”

Duc, Teacher, Ho Chi Minh City

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Duc, in his own words:“I’m Tri Duc, 30 years old, half Vietnamese half Chinese guy. I was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Being a gay was a meaningful thing which was shaped me. Maybe I could look different from others in behavior, thinking, and lifestyle. However, I always tried my best to make contribution, to do everything help my parents and to be a useful child in my family even when I was ten.

I came from a poor family. My parents had nothing after 1975. They had to create everything from zero with no support. My mother was a Vietnamese typical woman: work hard; sacrifice her whole life to her children, to her husband and be a faithful wife. My mom had to manage anything in my family without helping from my dad. He made no care on what happen to his children and let them survive by their own ways. I had father but I had no looking after from him. I lived with two older sisters and one youngest sister. Hard living made us stronger and be more responsible for our family. From a weak, timid, reserved boy; I become an open, strong, confident, independent gay boy today.

When I was a teenager, I could recognize something different in my mind but I couldn’t explain what it was. You know, I had no knowledge about LGBT, had no internet, no means of media at that time in order to find out who I was. I had ever felt fearful of being a gay because I always thought that no one looked like me and it was disgusting if someone identified me. Until now, it becomes history and I feel more comfortable, happier when I know that is natural. The life of Vietnamese gay community is better nowadays. Some Vietnamese people have accepted us and consider us as other men. They don’t laugh at or don’t distance us from. Because they know that one of us can be their relative as well. We have club, bar … are only for gay and some organization fight to protect our benefit but they are small. Same-sex marriage in my country is still illegal.

Some gay men here have come out their nature to their family, friends. Some have sympathy and support, some have nothing and they may face to many difficulties for coming out because of their parents. The rest is not open gay. They look like straight and some of them may get married with girl to hide their real sex. To me, coming out is a tough decision. I can’t show this now because I don’t want to let my mom be sad and don’t want to see her cry. She will be extremely shocked if I tell her the truth. Coming out my matter now is a sin. I can’t. If I have a chance to go to another country where same-sex marriage is legal, I may change my mind because I can keep hiding my mom and find a relevant reason to persuade her.

Eastern society is not a place for gay community having a pleasure life as any gay life in Western one. Nowadays, we have Canada, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Some states of USA, Australia… have accepted LGBT. However, I can’t state a name from Asian countries that accept LGBT as well. I hope one day, Vietnam will turn our dream come true.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (United States Declaration of Independence)

I look forward to a new future with full of hope, full of happiness to LGBT, our gay community.”

Manny and Hye, Students, Ho Chi Minh City

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Manny, in his own words: “Once I’ve accepted the fact that I’m gay, it means I’ve accepted me for who I am and thanks to the gay part in me, I’m who I am to day, a proud, ambitious, confident young gentleman. There is no problem with being a homosexual or a bisexual, your still a human, living or dead, and nothings wrong with it, and no need to change anything about it because that’s what makes you more special than the others, so be proud to say “I’m gay”.

When I was a kid, my dad, he used to tell me about gay people in despite, he told me that its not normal, that you were born to be a real men not “something” like that, I thought to myself that I should never tell him the truth. And I don’t remember there being any problems with keeping my biggest secret in school, I did what all the normal boys did, my friends, they even got me girlfriend, and we even kissed, that was kind of fun but watching the other gay guys being picked on, somehow, made me feel sad. Then I reached the age of 16 and 17 and confident about things. I remember coming out to my best friend first, then all of my friends, they were all support me. Then my family, it was a cloudy day, I was talking to my bro then suddenly he asked me if I was gay or not, I was surprised, I didn’t think my family know, then the next day is the family reunion day, I told my family I was gay but not willingly, my bro forced me to, my parents was frozen in silence, since then my dad stop talking about me getting married with a girl, but my mum, she still hope that someday I will change, I can tell by the way she talk to me.

I don’t think coming out is a really big deal to me (at least I think it’s a coming out), at first I thought I will be kicked out of the house, but I didn’t, your parents will always love you no matter what.

The gay community, not only in hcmc but also in Vietnam, has came to many many social websites that connect gay people from all over the country, it’s the place where we can share our stories, our experiences, and become friends.

I usually tell myself that “Don’t be pessimistic, think positive and everything will be ok”. Maybe I’m lucky to be gay.”

Hye, in his own Vietnamese words: Khi tôi là một đứa nhỏ… Tôi thích chơi chơi trò bác sĩ hơn là đá banh ngoài sân đình…

Khi tôi là một cậu nhóc cấp 1… Tôi thích nắn nót từng nét chữ hơn là nguệch ngoạc trong vở…

Khi tôi là một cậu nhóc cấp 2… Tôi thích những môn học yêu cầu tỉ mỉ hơn là môn Thể dục…

Khi tôi là một cậu nhóc cấp 3… Tôi thích cậu bạn học chung hơn là những cô bạn nữ dễ thương…

Gay không phải do tôi quyết định, khi mà đó chính là con người tôi… Tôi không có quyền quyết định giới tính của tôi… Nhưng lúc này, tôi có thể chọ cách tôi sống như thế nào. Lúc tôi come-out với bạn bè… Một số dè bỉu, một số khinh thường, nhưng một số vẫn luôn ủng hộ tôi đến bây giờ… Lúc đó tôi biết được.. Ai là người bạn thật sự của tôi…

Các Tổ chức LGBT trên địa bàn TP. Hồ Chí Minh rất nhiều và hoạt động công khai có, hoạt động bí mật cũng không ít… Từ đó, tôi biết được rằng, gay như tôi rất nhiều… Nhưng vì định kiến xã hội, vì gia đình, vì trách nhiệm, họ không thể nói ra. Dù trong họ, luôn âm thầm khao khát một tình yêu thật sự, tình yêu mà bị xã hội này xem là sai lệch, là bệnh hoạn… Giới tính không có lỗi, lỗ là do con người đánh giá người khác qua giới tính đó…

Tôi vẫn không đủ can đảm để cho người thân mình biết giới tính thật của mình… Bạn bè biết, có thể họ sẽ tránh xa mình… Nhưng người thân, tôi không chịu được cảnh nhìn khọ đau khổ, nhìn đứa con trai một duy nhất của gia đình lại thật sự là một người như thế… Tôi sợ nhìn thấy gương matwjthaats vọng của họ, khuôn mặt buồn phiền của họ…
Mẹ ơi… Con xin lỗi mẹ… Con đã không làm tròn bổn phận của một người con trai… Con không thể mang cho mẹ một nàng dâu, nhưng con sẽ mang về cho mẹ một chàng rể mà đặt tình yêu thật sự với con, một chàng trai mà con yêu bằng cả trái tim như con yêu mẹ vậy… Chàng trai đó sẽ không làm mẹ thất vọng… Phải không mẹ :)”

in English:

“When I was a little boy, I liked to play game pretending I was a doctor rather than playing a ball on the yard.

When I was in Kinder garden rather drawing sloppy on the paper I liked to write meticulous.

When I was in second grade I liked to study on serious subject more than doing a gymnastics.

When I was in third grade I liked a schoolboy more than a pretty schoolgirl.

To be a Gay is was not my decision, it was who I am. I don’t have an authority to determine my gender. But right now, I can choose how to live my life. When I came out to my friends, some looked down on me, some despite me, some understood and support me. Until then I knew who were truly my real friends.

There are many organization LGBT in TP Ho Chi Minh are actively support Gay’s right. There are other organization supporting Gay’s right in secretly. I know that there are many people just like me. Because of a prejudice of one society, because of a responsibility with their families, they can’t come out. Although; they are yearning to have a real love, which was condemned by a society that it was a wrong love or a sickly love. Gender has no wrong, it’s wrong when humankind looks at it and determined it.

I don’t have a courage to let all people that I love to know who I am. My friends know they may stay far away from me, but for my family I can’t stand to see them suffer, because I am the only son in the family, and I am different. I am afraid to see their desperate and sorrowful faces.

Dear Mom- I am sorry- I did not fulfill a responsibility of a boy. I can’t bring home to you a bride, but I can bring home to you a groom who loves me, whom I was truly in loved with all my heart, just like the loves of me for you. That boy will not be disappointed you. Right MOM?”

Diary: Manny and Hye, Ho Chi Minh City from The Gay Men Project on Vimeo.