Research Grants

Voices of the Marginalized Groups: Lived experiences of LGBTI community members during ‘socialist’ Vietnam

Small grant (national
project) – 12 months
Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies
(IHRP), Mahidol University


This research will attempt to
answer questions of “How have the lived experiences of LGBTI community
members who were born before 1970 contributed to the recent legal reform and
policy change?” and “How and what could the young generations and LGBTI
rights movement learn from the achievements, struggles and future aspirations
of their previous generation?” by interviewing them in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh
cities, as well as other cities, if and when

Significance of

Documenting the lived experiences of
marginalized groups – LGBTI community members who were born before 1970 –
will give voices to the voiceless in this economically fast-growing ASEAN
nation where LGBTI rights have enjoyed multiple achievements recently. At the
regional level, Vietnam’s LGBTI movement is regarded as progressive. By
voting in favor of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the Independent
Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), Vietnam has shown
its consistent support for equal rights of LGBTI individuals around the
world. In November 2015, the country passed a law to recognize gender
reassignment and had earlier lifted a ban on same-sex marriage. Same-sex
couples, however, have not been granted legal marital status. In this sense,
Vietnam performs well in the legal department along with other ASEAN
countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Philippines. This research will
attempt to shed a light on how LGBTI rights movements could make progress
despite the repressive political conditions and traditional social and
cultural pressures in the ASEAN countries by a Vietnamese

Personal bio

Otgonbaatar TsedendemberelOtgonbaatar Tsedendemberel is a
graduate student with MA degree in Human Rights from the Institute of Human
Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP) of Mahidol University, Otgonbaatar
Tsedendemberel is the former Executive Director of the LGBT Center of
Mongolia, where he helped lead the country’s LGBTIQ rights movement. He has
served as Board Member of Mongolian organizations such as Open Society Forum
and Youth Policy Watch. He is Program Advisory Committee member of the
Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Center for Women (ARROW). Otgonbaatar
received the Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the Japanese government, and
earned an LLB in civil law from the University of Tokyo.

About the author