The Pink Choice
Contemporary Issues, first prize stories
Tran Van Chuc (21, right) and Nguyen Van Dug (44) have been together for over a year.
Vietnam has historically been unwelcoming to same-sex couples, but in 2012 the Vietnamese government announced it was considering recognizing same-sex marriage, a move that would make it the first Asian country to do so. Despite past human rights issues and a long-standing stigma against homosexuality, parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage was scheduled for 2013. Polls showed that majority public opinion remained opposed to the idea. In August 2012, the country’s first gay pride parade took place in Hanoi.
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About the photographer
Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) was born in Vietnam, and lives and works in Hanoi.
After taking a BA in sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2006, Maika started to use the camera to document her daily and private life.
She soon turned to professional photography, working for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010, she took up documentary photography.
Her first project, The Pink Choice, focused on the life of gay couples in Vietnam, and was widely published internationally and online, winning in 2013 a World Press Photo prize and a Pride Photo Award.