Although space is opening up for the LGBT community in the conservative country, same-sex relations are still illegal, a legacy of former colonial power Britain.
At the “pink pinky” campaign launch on Wednesday — held ahead of a Pride party in Yangon this weekend expected to attract more than 10,000 people — rights groups called for the ban to be repealed and for an anti-discrimination law to be enacted.
Fronting the movement is Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, who came out publicly as lesbian late last year — the first to do so in the event’s history.
“We need legal protection, we need legal recognition and we need legal reform,” Hla Myat Tun, deputy director of the group Colors Rainbow, told AFP.
This year’s Pride is the country’s sixth edition and biggest so far, spanning three weekends and multiple locations across the commercial hub, with organizers calling for attendees to show support with their hands.