Reshaping Boundaries: Family Politics and GLBTQ Resistance in Urban Vietnam
Summary, in English
Although Vietnamese society is currently undergoing significant changes with regards to the rights and perceptions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) people, dominant socio-cultural norms related to gender, sexuality, and the importance of the patrilineal family regime continue to cast a shadow over the lives of GLBTQ in contemporary Vietnam. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the urban centers of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as legal documents and secondary sources, this article illustrates how dominant heteronormative socio-cultural norms have contributed to the political, legal, and social exclusion of same-sex sexualities through a process of outlawing, whereby GLBTQ have been systematically excluded from the rights of law. Drawing on qualitative interviews with gay men and lesbian women between the ages of 20 and 50, the article also highlights how this relation of domination has allowed for instances of GLBTQ resistance, through subversive opposition, strategies of avoidance, and the seeking out of new opportunities in urban spaces outside the dominant sociality. The article thus provides a qualitatively nuanced account of family politics and GLBTQ resistance in urban Vietnam at a significant socio-political historical juncture.