Myanmar LGBT festival goes public for 1st time
Yangon: Fluorescent wigs askew and leaving broken stiletto heels and a cloud of glitter in their wake, Myanmar drag queens pounded across the finish line and crashed into a waiting coterie of photographers at a groundbreaking festival. The race and other games including handbag throwing were some of the highlights of the "&Proud" festival, which took place in public for the first time in a country where same-sex relations are still officially illegal.
"Some people don't know about LGBT people," said 20- year-old Thaw Zin, who attended the weekend event at a Yangon park sporting a bright pink T-shirt, dyed strawberry blond hair and blue contact lenses.
"You get people who are LGBT but they don't know what that is. They don't understand. So that's why it's difficult for other people to understand as well."
Myanmar's notorious Section 377, a remnant of British rule, criminalises so-called "unnatural" sex and has been used to target LGBT people in the socially conservative nation.