Society and Identity
Same-sex marriage and queer families are not legally recognised in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government, however, lifted the ban on same-sex wedding ceremonies in 2013. Since then, members of the LGBT community have been making public affirmation of their commitment through wedding celebrations across the country. Collective same-sex wedding ceremonies have also become part of LGBT rights movement campaigns such as the ‘I do’ campaign for legalisation of same-sex marriage in Vietnam in 2013 and the annual LGBT celebration Viet Pride. Vietnamese media has become more affirmative of queer identities in the public sphere. Newspapers, radio and television broadcasts have reported on major LGBT events and successful LGBT individuals. Representations of LGBT people in Vietnamese media have developed from a stigmatised perspective into much more diverse imaginaries. As cultural representation has many implications for legal and social understandings, reading cultural products may shed light on legal and social challenges in a particular country. Regarding queer families in Vietnam, I would like to study the sitcom ‘My Monster in Law’ (2017), which is about a gay couple preparing for their wedding and living together and the relationship between the new ‘bride’ and his ‘mother in law’. Conflicts arising from these relationships may provide insights into the challenges that queer families pose to Vietnamese heteronormative society.