Myanmar’s first LGBT pride boat parade sets sail

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01/27/2019

Rainbow flags flew high and gay anthems blasted out over Yangon’s river as a flotilla of boats took to the water of Myanmar’s biggest city on Saturday (Jan 26) for the country’s first-ever Pride boat parade in a sign of growing acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Some 600 revelers partied under a blazing sun as the discreet community slowly emerges into the limelight in a country where gay sex remains illegal. Compared to just five years ago when the festival got off the ground, “Myanmar LGBT people, especially young people, are now more courageous and more ‘out’,” said Hla Myat Tun, co-director of &Proud, which organizes the celebration and other events across the country. Last year marked a milestone after the authorities granted permission to hold the event for the first time in a public park with some 12,000 people coming along.

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