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A photo capturing an homosexual couple taken by Maika Ellan
Photos show lives, loves of gay community

in VIET NAM, 01/01/2013

A new photo exhibition offers a closer look into the daily lives and feelings of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Viet Nam who continue to suffer from discrimination. The exhibition entitled Mo-Bang-Yeu (Openness-Equality-Love) opened here yesterday gathering photos from three prior exhibitions on the lives of the nation's LGBT community.

Mo (Openness) feature photos taken by members of the community themselves which were first presented to the public in 2009-10. While conditions have changed since then, the courage to be open to one's true self and overcome fear remains the same.

Bang (Equality) tells nine stories about the relationship between the LGBT community and society, underscoring the desire for equality.

Yeu (Love) is the journey of photographer Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) to answer the question: what does gay love look like? The answer, through the photos, may disappoint some because it turns out that the love of gay people doesn't look that much different from those of anyone else.

"Love is love, because all loves are equally honoured, and where there is love there is a family," Hai said.

Through her photos, homosexuals reveal their personal moments and daily routines. From bathing, eating, relaxing, or modelling together in underwear, to sharing activities with family members, Hai makes use of light, shadow and the subjects' facial expressions to highlight the love they feel for each other.

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