JAKARTA, INDONESIA —
Asia's youngest nation, East Timor (Timor-Leste), held its second annual LGBT pride parade in its capital, Dili.
The small country cemented its role as a regional LGBT rights leader during a time when that community is under threat in many of its neighboring countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
East Timor's pride campaign is notable for its broad base of support in a country of fewer than 1.3 million people. Last year, its prime minister, Rui Maria de Araujo, supported the fledgling movement, stating that "discrimination, disrespect and abuse toward people, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, does not provide any benefit to our nation."
This year, the campaign started early with a documentary film on LGBT acceptance within families that was released in April for an audience that included former president and prime minister Xanana Gusmao. It was filmed by the community advocacy group Hatutan.
"Kinship is an important issue for the LGBT community in East Timor because it's such a small country," said Dede Oetomo, who founded the Indonesian gay rights advocacy group Gaya Nusantara.