If you’re a queer person traveling to Vietnam for a few weeks or planning to stay indefinitely, finding a new circle can be emotionally exhausting. While Vietnam embraces homosexual tourists and homosexuality in general, it’s still a socially conservative nation, and many of its people are still hiding their sexuality from their families.
But thanks to various LGBTQIA+ groups that are often funded by Western organizations as well as young Vietnamese coming back to the country after studying abroad, more and more initiatives have been established to create inclusive and safe spaces for anyone to express their gender and identity.
In celebration of the global Pride Month, we listed a few Facebook pages that promote diversity where queer people can freely express themselves and feel safe while in Vietnam.
With over 34,000 likes and followers, Viet Pride is a page managed by the ICS Center, an organization that protects and promotes gay rights in the country. Viet Pride is a pride event organized by the Vietnamese gay, bisexual and transgender community and supporting family, relatives, and friends. The first Viet Pride took place in Hanoi in 2012, and it has since been celebrated in more than 30 cities and provinces.
Vietnam Youth Alliance
Founded by Lý Hoàng Thủy Tiên, Vietnam Youth Alliance started as a project after she was inspired by all the advocacy work she did with Planned Parenthood Toronto and Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. Tien is an international student in Canada who identifies as an aromantic asexual. In our previous interview with Tien, she said her goal is to “deliver youth-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQIA+-positive accurate information about the LGBTQIA+ community.” The page has since grown to almost 20,000 followers.
Vietnam Women and Queer Open
The Vietnam Women and Queer Open page is on a mission to raise awareness among Vietnamese youth concerning issues related to women and the LGBTQIA+ community. With a following of over 6,000 people, this community also holds debate events organized by Moji Debate, an educational organization with the desire to firmly spread, build and develop the spirit of debate in all parts of Vietnam, discussing topics about fundamental human rights.
Ha Noi Queer
While it’s relatively true that the capital city is more conservative than the southern business hub, the queer community in Hanoi is just as active as HCMC’s. They exist to provide an open and equal platform for LGBTQIA+ individuals in Hanoi. Ha Noi Queer has more than 22,000 followers.
Venues to check out
If you prefer to meet people who share the same preference or explore the actual LGBTQIA+ scene in Vietnam, we have previously rounded up a list of queer-friendly spots in both HCMC and Hanoi. But as Vietnamese society continues to evolve, several other cool venues that offer a safe and accepting platform for the LGBTQIA+ community have sprouted in recent years.
Probably the most popular and most-discussed LGBTQIA+-friendly place among expats groups, Pride Café is a queer-owned and managed café that offers a chill vibe serving fresh coffee and brunch food. They also host Queer Book Club and other activities that welcome both straight and queer people.
Address: 166E Trần Hưng Đạo, Quận 1 Ho Chi Minh City
Gender Funk hosts regular music events and live performances, but they’re becoming more and more popular because of their grand and fantastic drag shows. As they say, “At GenderFunk, You. Do. You.”
If you’re into live drag and comedy shows, there’s a new queer bar in HCMC for that — HAUS. They also have a dance club for everyone to enjoy.