LGBT Rights in Laos - Culture, Events and Media

Culture, Events and Media

Gay foreigners visiting Laos in the 1990s sometimes reported the existence of a taboo associated with foreigners, that made it hard to interact with Laos, except discreetly at night. Today, the government does block access to LGBT themed webpages and discussions about LGBT issues in the media are rare, beyond transsexuals who are quite visible in the culture as entertainment. However, the government generally tolerates, or simply ignores, LGBT people unless they campaign for LGBT rights or judged by the government to be too publicly immodest or indecent (Gay Laos: Lost and Found. By Richard Ammon. Tolerance for LGBT is, as is often the case, stronger in the urban cities then in the rural neighborhoods.

The government has allowed certain NGO's to operate in Lao, that work with the LGBT community in terms of public health. Lao Positive Health Association, founded in 1999, promotes AIDS-HIV education to many different segments of Lao, including men who have sex with other men.

The first public LGBT Pride held in Laos was held in June 2012 on the sports field of the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, with 100 participants; the guests of honor were U.S. Ambassador to Laos Karen Stewart and Dr. Bounpheng Philavong, Director of the Center for HIV/AIDS/STI (CHAS) at the Lao Ministry of Health. Themed "Proud to be Us", the event was organized by Laotian and intergovernmental organizations, including the Purple Sky Network, Lao Positive Health Association (Lao PHA), Population Services International (PSI), the Burnet Institute, Family Health International (FHI), the Vientiane Youth Center for Health and Development, and UNFPA.

Read more about this topic:  LGBT Rights In Laos

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