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VietPride Ho Chi Minh City’s annual parade switches to bus over COVID-19 concerns

Sunday, October 25, 2020, 10:00 GMT+7
VietPride Ho Chi Minh City’s annual parade switches to bus over COVID-19 concerns
The colorful Pride Bus - Ride With Pride is seen at the starting point of route No. 1 on October 24, 2020 in this supplied photo.

VietPride Ho Chi Minh City, a Pride event to celebrate the LGBTI+ (homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender people, and other sexual minorities) community in the southern metropolis, on Saturday ended with a bus tour around the city.

The event held by Vietnam-based LGBT+ rights group ICS Center was an alternative to the annual parade amid COVID-19.

The pandemic has postponed or put an end to Pride Month, which often takes place in June-October, around the world.

Called 'The Pride Bus,' the ride departing at 9:00 am on Saturday and ending at 7:00 pm the same day offered a one-day journey through Ho Chi Minh City to spread the pride spirit and connect the local LGBTI+ community.

During its journey, the bus stopped at four stations where passengers were told stories about how the LGBTI+ community are leading their lives, as well as messages that the community always have allies along their path of pride.

Passengers of The Pride Bus also had the chance to look back at the activities in the VietPride month, listen to the stories of the LGBTI+ people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and discuss a special plan to seek marriage equality in Vietnam.

The Pride Bus showed its support for the LGBTI+ community in the storm-hit central city of Hue, with all proceeds to be sent to them to help with post-disaster recovery.

“This is a huge innovation in the pride celebration of 2020,” Nguyen Minh Ha, one of the organizers of The Pride Bus’ first route told Tuoi Tre News.

“Previously, we always had the parade on the street but this year is extraordinary as we took this bus.

“The bus is a great solution for raising awareness of the reality where the LGBTI+ community still faces inequality.

"Given this bus, we can air our opinion on gender diversity."

Participants join the first route of The Pride Bus, called 'ALLIES', held by students of Fulbright University Vietnam in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre News

VietPride, which first started in 2012, is a movement advocating for an end to prejudice, discrimination, shame, and invisibility faced by the LGBTI+ community in Vietnam.

Its celebrations have taken place in more than a dozen cities and provinces across the country, with the most prominent editions staged in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Kicking off on September 1, the 2020 VietPride has executed many projects for the community, including ‘Dear My Ally’ which extended special thanks to friends and families; ‘VietPrideWishlist Challenge’ where the LGBTI+ community wrote down their wishes for the future; a virtual run called ‘Light up the Pride; and others.

In the spirit of 'No Matter What,' VietPride Ho Chi Minh City has organized diverse public awareness events to appeal for gender equality.

Participants join the first route of The Pride Bus, called 'ALLIES', held by students of Fulbright University Vietnam in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre News

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Linh To / Tuoi Tre News

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