Myanmar celebrates International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Myanmar celebrates International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Reported by Nay Lin, Chair, Myanmar MSM Network (MMN)

Written by  Yan Win Soe, Country Focal Point, PITCH Myanmar

On 17 May 2019, PITCH partner Myanmar MSM Network (MMN), together with the local community-based organisation “Beauty Queen”, ran an awareness-raising campaign on LGBT rights in ancient town Shwe Bo, located in Upper Myanmar.

As the majority of the rural population resides in Upper Myanmar, this region is less developed compared to Lower Myanmar. Locals are much less aware of LGBT people and their rights. Often, the general public stereotypes the LGBT community as jokers, staff of beauty parlours or nats (spirit dancers), which is a result of their portrayal in films.

Through this event the organisers aimed to show to the public that LGBT people also do important social work and in this way make the public more LGBTI-friendly. Local LGBT members were also encourages to meet each other to reduce the number of the isolated and stigmatised LGBTI people. The organisers believe that the local LGBT community has gained more confidence by taking part in the event.

During this colourful and cheerful event, organisers provided refreshments and collected plastic waste. They drove around the town by trolley and spread advocacy messages and shared practical information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

MMN has been organising this PITCH-funded advocacy event since 2017. 

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