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Diễn hành Tết 2013 | Tết Parade 2013

Liên hội những người đồng tính, lưỡng tính, và chuyển giới (LGBT) Mỹ gốc Việt xin kêu gọi tất cả mọi người sử dụng thông tin trên trang web này để chia sẻ sự nhận thức về những đóng góp của người đồng tính, chuyển đổi giới tính và những di sản văn hóa cuả họ trong lịch sử và truyền thống Việt Nam. Chúng tôi cũng sử dụng trang web này để giứp mọi người thấy được các hình thức phân biệt đối xử chống lại người đồng tính Việt Nam, và cung cấp nguồn hỗ trợ cách phản ứng lại sự phân biệt đối xử.

Về việc tham gia của cộng đồng của chúng tôi trong lễ diễn hành Tết 2013 tại Westminster vào Chủ Nhật ngày 10 Tháng 2, chúng tôi mời mọi người in ra trang PDF và xếp lại với nhau để tạo ra một tấm áp phích lớn. Chúng tôi sử dụng các áp phích để nói lên tiếng nói trong cuộc diễu hành Tết với những người muốn tìm hiểu thêm về lịch sử của người đồng tính Việt Nam.

Mỗi PDF có 6 trang.  Xếp lại với nhau để tạo ra một tấm áp phích lớn.

Cảm ơn bạn.

Trang Facebook về sự tham gia Tết hòa bình của chúng tôi.

Xuan Dieu FINAL

PDF: Xuân Diệu

Khai Dinh new

PDF: Khải Định

Dong co FINAL

PDF:  Đồng cô

The Partnership of Viet Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Organizations invites everyone to use the information on this webpage to bring awareness about the contributions of homosexual, transgender, or other same-sex loving individuals and cultural heritage in Vietnamese history and traditions.  We also use this website to educate people around every day forms of discrimination against Vietnamese LGBTs and offer resources for responses to discrimination.

For our community participation in the Tết Parade 2013 in Westminster on Sunday February 10th, we invite people to download the PDF files on each page, print them out, and piece them together to make one large poster.  We use these posters to start conversation during the Tết parade with others who would like to learn more about Viet LGBT history.

Each PDF has 6 pages.  Piece them together to make one large poster.

Thank you.

Facebook page about our PEACEFUL Tết participation.

Nhà thơ đồng tính Xuân Diệu (1916-1985)

Xuân Diệu is perhaps one of the most prolific and respected authors in modern Vietnamese literature, writing over 450 poems and short stories in his lifetime. Hoài Thanh, a fellow poet and founder of the New Poetry movement (phong trào Thơ Mới) in Vietnam during the 1930s and 1940s, once called Xuân Diệu “the prince of love poems (ông hoàng của thơ tình).”

Xuân Diệu and his life partner Huy Cận lived together until their deaths in the 1980s in Vietnam. The New Poetry movement included many other poets and writers who expressed male homoerotic themes in their creative writing, prison diaries, or memiors: Quách Tấn, Hàn Mặc Tử, Trần Huy Liệu, Nguyễn Đức Chính, Tản Đà, and Tô Hoài, to name just a few.

Xuân Diệu’s most explicitly homoerotic poem, “Love of men [Tình trai]” (1938) is translated thusly by Harvard scholar Nguyễn Quốc Vinh:

I remember Rimbaud and Verlaine,
Fellow poets of dazzling bacchanalian spirits
Intoxicated by strange rimes, infatuated with friendship,
They scorned well-worn paths and forsook the usual ways!

Their paths ran in parallel across the miles,
their souls entwined, aglow in floral scent,
they went weak arms in strong ones embracing
to the tune of love amidst wind and fog.

Never mind and old story retold for a latter day,
oblivious to the sight of rouged lips and gaudy garbs,
and with narry a bargain they loved one another
in utter disregard of heaven or hell.

Tôi nhớ Rimbaud với Verlaine
Hai chàng thi sĩ choáng hơi men
Say thơ xa lạ, mê tình bạn
Khinh rẽ khuôn mòn, bỏ lối quên.

Những bước song song xéo dặm trường
Đôi hồn tươi đậm ngát hoa hương
Họ đi, tay yếu trong tay mạnh
Nghe hát ân tình giữa gió sương

Kể chi chuyện trước với ngày sau
Quên gió môi son với áo màu
Thây kệ thiên đường và địa ngục
Không hề mặc cả, họ yêu nhau

For more information on the above information:

  • Nguyễn, Q.V. (1998) ‘Deviant bodies and dynamics of displacement of homoerotic desire in Vietnamese literature from and about the French colonial period.’ Online. Available:
  • Zinoman, P. (2001) The colonial Bastille: A history of imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940. University of California Press: Berkeley. (pages 99,127-129).

Vua đồng tính Khải Định (1916-1925)

The 17th emperor of Vietnam, Khải Định (1916-1925) is widely reported as a homosexual (người đồng tính) and a cross-dresser. Many historians and newsmedia frame Khải Định as a “puppet of the French” or an unscrupulous character, which perpetuates stereotypes that homosexuality in Vietnam was a “Western disease” and “immoral.” Accusations of Khải Định’s gambling, alcoholism, or unpopularity among Vietnamese people could realistically by applied to all Vietnamese emperors at one point or another in their regimes.

Khải Định had twelve wives and concubines, legally marrying only two women, and fathering only one child with a concubine (Lê 2012). Vietnamese newsmedia sensationalizes his life, for example stating that ‘[i]n his entire 10 years as emperor, Khải Định never slept with any of his wives ([s]uốt 10 năm làm vua, Khải Định không có ăn nằm với bà vợ nào),’ instead favoring the nightly company of his male palace servant (viên thị vệ), Nguyễn Đắc Vọng (‘Chẩn đoán bệnh’ 2011).

A digital library of the National University of Ho Chi Minh City indicates that Khải
Định ‘wore eccentric clothing, outside of traditional garb worn by emperors. He wore golden traditional head wraps, wore hats, and adorned women’s diamonds (ǎn mặc quần áo rất lòe loẹt, không tuân theo y phục hoàng bào truyền thống của các vua chúa. Chít khǎn vàng, đội nón, đeo hạt xoàn của phụ nữ)’ (‘Khải Định 2012).

Đồng cô of the Mother Goddess Religion (đạo Mẫu)

Dong co 3

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Dong co 2




A Vietnamese spiritual tradition that respects gender-crossing and homosexual leaders central to the spiritual practices is the Mother Goddess (đạo Mẫu) religion.

One of the oldest in Vietnamese history, the Mother Goddess religion is still practiced today, from temples in Hanoi, Vietnam to San Jose, California.  “Đồng cô” are spiritual shamans who are essential to the practices of divine feminine worship in the religion. Đồng cô are usually males who prefer homosexual relationships and attractions with other men. Many đồng cô identify as homosexual or gay.  However, some đồng cô do not identify as “gay,” because they feel their gender/sexuality as part of a spiritual cosmology, not just a sexual identity.

Regardless of their sexual identifications, đồng cô shamans cross-dress as women during spiritual rituals that are essential to the practice of healing, calling upon the dead as mediums with the living, and other benevolent worship of the divine feminine within Vietnamese Buddhist lineage of female goddesses. Dồng cô are highly regarded as spiritual leaders and necessary to the the Mother Goddess religion’s manifestation of human connection to the cosmos. Due to their homosexuality and gender-crossing, đồng cô shamans are considered ideal in acting as “in-between” portals between men and women, human and cosmic.

Several scholars debate the necessarily homosexual or transgender identifications of đồng cô male spiritual leaders. They debate these historical and cultural questions on the grounds that feminine attire is essential for males in rituals that honor maternal figures and goddesses featured in the religion (Fjelstad and Nguyen 2011:137), ritual participants are tacitly aware of homosexuality of most đồng cô, but view sexual orientation as unconnected to the divine calling to mediumship or ritual practice (Norton 2006:72), or that lên đồng (“go up”) rituals offer a complex way to fulfill filial and social obligations when a male medium has presumably socially unacceptably high levels of feminine spiritual energy within the Mother Goddess cosmology (Endres 2006:89). Medical doctors Elliot Heiman and Cao Văn Lê, who investigated Vietnamese sexuality in the 1960s and 70s,  specifically differentiate between their transsexual subject and đồng cô (see Nguyễn 2007). Contrastingly, Vietnamese popular music singers like Cindy Thái Tài and Cát Tuyền publicly disclose their histories as male-to-female transsexuals, complicating the nationalistic discourses around ‘good womanhood’ in Vietnam.

For an excellent resource, please see the documentary made in 2006, “Love man, love woman
[Ái nam, ái nữ]” by Nguyễn Thị Trinh.

Ai Nam Ai Nu documentary film

Sources on đồng cô:

  • Endres, Kirsten. (2006). “Spirit Performance and the Ritual Construction of Personal Identity in Modern Vietnam.” In Possessed by the Spiris: Mediumship in contemporary Vietnamese communities, edited by Karen Fjelstad and Nguyen Thi Hien. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 77-94.
  • Fjelstad, Karen and Nguyen Thi Hien. (2011). Spirits without Borders: Vietnamese Spirit Mediums in a Transnational Age. New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Heiman, E. M. and Cao V. L. (1975) “Transsexualism in Vietnam.” Archives of Sexual Behavior. 4(1):89-95.
  • Nguyễn, Q.V. (1998) ‘Deviant bodies and dynamics of displacement of homoerotic desire in Vietnamese literature from and about the French colonial period.’ Online. Available:
  • Nguyễn, T.T. (2007). ‘Ái nam, ái nữ [Love man, love woman].’ Documentary film. Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • Norton, Barley. (2006). “‘Hot-tempered’ women and ‘effeminate’ men: The Performance of Music and Gender in Vietnamese Mediumship.” In Possessed by the Spiris: Mediumship in contemporary Vietnamese communities, edited by Karen Fjelstad and Nguyen Thi Hien. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 55-76.

Nguồn gốc thiệt của chữ “pê-đê”

A little known historical detail is that, although homophobic Vietnamese say that homosexuality is a Western disease, it was Westerners who first said that homosexuality was a Vietnamese disease, specifically during French colonialism of Vietnam. The term “pe-de” (often pronounced “bey-dey” in Vietnamese) is a derogatory slang term for “faggot.” Sometimes it also used as a catch-all term for all LGBTs. Pê-đê in Vietnamese is derived from the French term “pederast,” meaning an adult male who likes to have sex with pubescent boys. The same term “pé-dé” in French is also still used as derogatory slang with the same connotation as Vietnamese.

Anthropologist Frank Proschan (2002) writes about the ways in which French colonial officials, medical doctors, travelers, and missionaries during the late 1800s claimed that Vietnamese opium dens in Saigon were ‘infecting’ Frenchmen with syphillis through pederasty and prostitution. Frenchmen claimed that Vietnamese women were so ugly with blackened teeth from betel nut chewing that this ‘forced’ colonials into engaging in homosexuality under the influence of opium. French surgeon who wrote using the pseudonym “Dr. Jacobus X” recorded the most detailed compendeum of Vietnamese gender and sexuality on record during the French colonial period, where he claimed that pederasty and sodomy ‘became part of the manners of the Annamite people long before the conquest by the French’ (Proschan 2002:618-9).

Homosexuality is seen as a racial threat in contradictory ways, on the one hand by the French, who tried to conquer and divide the Vietnamese people through their medicalized homophobia and treatment of syphillis in opium dens, and by Vietnamese, who cling falsely to an idea of heterosexual purity of the race.

  • Proschan, F. (2002) ‘“Syphillis, opiomania, and pederasty”: Colonial constructions of Vietnamese (and French) social diseases.’ Journal of the History of Sexuality. 11(4):610-636.