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Quiet Gay Pride In Myanmar

MyanmarLGBT people in Myanmar and their allies held a series of events across the country last night to for the first time celebrate gay pride, including a concert and discussion attended by about 400 people in Yangon (also called Rangoon).

Though Myanmar, also called Burma, has become more liberal since the military regime's fall, same-sex relationships are still a crime, the BBC reports, which means most LGBT people weren't comfortable holding a full-blown gay pride parade.

Burma is a conservative, mainly Buddhist country where many gay men and women feel they cannot come out.

As such organisers decided against hosting a street parade, which is a traditional feature of gay pride events around the world.

Instead, around 400 people attended an evening of music and talks held in the ballroom of a hotel in Rangoon.
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"In the past we didn't dare do this. We've been preparing to hold this event for a long time… and today, finally it happened," gay make-up artist Min-Min told the AFP news agency.

The event was timed to coincide with today's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

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Comments

  1. Among the few countries I would never visit.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 17, 2012 2:37:40 PM


  2. Over the last six years members from the Make it Safe Coalition (MISC) have arranged
    an assembly of Whistleblowers in Washington,DC each year for an annual conference
    originally known as Washington Whistleblower’s Week. The ACORN 8 and the USDA
    Coalition of Mionrity Employees will co-­‐host this year’sWhistleblower Summit on
    Civil & Human Rights.


    This year’s theme is WoW…Obama—fighting the War on Whistleblowers and Women.
    We are proud to announce that MSNBC Host Dylan Ratigan has agreed to participate
    and that the PACIFICA Radio Network will broadcast the historic event nationally this year.

    The Pillar Human Rights Award for International Person’s of Conscience will be awarded to notable civil and human rights champions.The international press may cover the event as well.

    Monday

    The Opening Plenary and Panel Discussion will take place in the
    Dirksen Building Senate Judiciary Hearing Room on May 21, 2012 (12:00—4:00 PM).Followed by Welcome Reception and Art Auction at the Mott House on May21, 2012 (5:00—7:00 PM)

    Tuesday

    A Press Conference on the Mall at the Martin Luther King Memorial will be held on May 22, 2012 (11:00—2:00 PM). Followed by Historic Whistleblower Book Signing and Film Screening at Busboy’s & Poets (14th and V. Street)on May 22, 2012(4:00—8:00 PM).Notable authors, whistleblowers and advocates include Tom Devine, the Whistleblowers Survival Guide; Michael McCray, ACORN8: Race, Power & Politics, and Eyal Press, Beautiful Souls.

    Wednesday

    Civil and Human Rights Roundtable on the War on Women,and the War on Whistleblowers will be held at the Mott House on May 23, 2012 (10:00—2:00 PM). ACORN 8, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and the MISC are an assortment of various public interest/advocacy groups. For more information call 202.370.6635 or 703.743.0565 or for more information please visit the ACORN8.com website.

    Posted by: Art | May 17, 2012 2:39:28 PM


  3. '...also known as Yurnol...and Zlekkar...and Kerfluük...'

    Posted by: Yeek | May 17, 2012 3:28:57 PM


  4. Why would someone claim that they would "never" visit this country, unless out of sheer ignorance?

    Posted by: denison | May 17, 2012 4:52:47 PM


  5. Actually these baby steps towards LGBT-rights equality makes me wanna visit Myanmar!
    =)

    Posted by: George F | May 17, 2012 6:37:51 PM


  6. Then you don't know a whole lot about Myanmar. I'm not an idiot. Why don't you read up on it, then get back to me?

    Would you be eager to visit certain Middle Eastern countries that have just had switches in regimes? I have, and I'll tell you that it's not a lot of fun to be surrounded by military forces even though they've supposedly been demilitarized. And I travel on a diplomatic pass. Maybe you'd also enjoy a stay in North Korea? Call me annoying, but not ignorant, especially on international affairs.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 17, 2012 9:35:51 PM


  7. Incredibly ignorant on international affairs, in fact. It's well known that visitors are rarely even victim of petty crimes, and that it is considered an overwhelmingly safe and welcoming country to visit by virtually everyone who's actually gone. Of course, it's far better off without certain types of individuals, so please, by all means.

    Posted by: denison | May 18, 2012 2:33:37 AM


  8. ...it's also quite telling to suggest that the country has "just switched regimes." It's actually been half a century.

    Posted by: denison | May 18, 2012 2:38:10 AM


  9. While I have not visited Myanmar before, it is nice to see that the citizens are making a step forward to support freedom and liberty for GLBT. I hope all is well for the gay folks in Myanmar.

    Posted by: JP | May 18, 2012 7:56:31 AM


  10. Wait, wait, wait. There's been no regime change. The military is still firmly, FIRMLY in charge. Recently they've been playing a bit more nice, but the same bad guys who slaughtere monks a few years ago are still in charge.

    Posted by: Bob | May 18, 2012 8:44:03 AM


  11. Um, until very recently (if appearances are to be believed) FREE THOUGHT was a crime in Myanmar. Yeah, they probably have some old British statute against sodomy still on the books, but pointing that out is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees.

    The fact is that if Myanmar does ultimately become a truly free society then gay and transgendered people will probably enjoy significantly more social freedom there than they do in most of the developing world, just as they do in neighbouring Thailand. The culture is amenable to it, even encouraging of some aspects, and there are no severely anti-LGBT religious strictures (Buddhism yay).

    The main problems faced by LGBT people in such a scenario will not be the product of State-sponsored discrimination as much as poverty, exploitation, AIDS, and other forms of class oppression; their main problem NOW is not some antiquated colonial law, but a capricious and murderous military junta that respects NO laws, and is only now beginning to lose its grip on power.

    Posted by: Karel | May 18, 2012 11:17:15 PM


  12. I lived there all my life, and never realized such law exist. Probably because it is never used. Karel is probably right that it is colonial era law, and that might be the reason why it is unheard of.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jun 23, 2012 10:37:43 PM


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