The rights of LGBT people took centrestage at an event to celebrate Human Rights Day at the FCC mansion in Phnom Penh yesterday. Organised by NGO CamAsean, which advocates on behalf of marginalised people, the morning conference included a rap performance by lesbian and transgender teenagers, and an exhibition of photos and films featuring the lives and struggles of LGBTI people.
“Today is all about marginalised people,” said CamAsean facilitator Kong Yara. “We have representatives here from LGBT communities, sex workers, drug users and people living with HIV.”
A 26-year-old jewellery shop supervisor, who preferred not to be named, said that life for a gay Cambodian can be hard: “I don’t have any gay friends, and when I told my best friend at school I was gay when I was 15, she told me she hated gays and never spoke to me again,” he said. “Some people can have an open life as a gay man in Cambodia, but I don’t feel strong enough.”
Nonetheless, he was upbeat about the future: “I think the level of homophobia is coming down a little bit now,” he said. “And I hope I might be ready to come out in two or three years’ time.” Read more via Phnompenh Post