A Swedish international human rights organization has approved a grant for a Pride celebration in Vietnam this year.

Civil Rights Defenders has given Viet Pride $6,000 (US dollar, €4,700) that will be spent on a campaign against discrimination towards LGBT people in employment and the second Viet Pride bicycle rally.

'In the campaign we will advocate for local and international corporations that have business in Vietnam to take action to raise awareness about sexual orientation and gender identity in office and adopt a non-discriminatory attitude in recruiting workers,' Nguyen Thanh Tam, Viet Pride founder, told Gay Star News.

Viet Pride 2013 will be held from 2 to 4 August in Hanoi, with film showings, workshops and a repeat of last year's successful hundred-bicycle strong rally.

The 2012 event, the first ever Pride celebration in Vietnam, did not receive official permission but Nguyen is hopeful the event can get state approval this year. 'We are more prepared than last year,' she said. 'Permission request for the bicycle rally was submitted in early March and one for film screenings will be submitted in May. We will keep our fingers crossed!'

Nguyen is also seeking funding for a scholarship program called Strive with Pride to assist LGBT school drop-outs who want to pursue higher education. 'These scholarships, we believe, will play a part in closing the opportunity gap and lead to a better representation of LGBT people in the workforce and in society generally,' she said.

Strive with Pride will be the theme for the whole of Viet Pride 2013.

'Gay shame has been in existence for so long and has caused so much suffering,' said Nguyen.

'So the films that we are going to screen, the employment equality campaign, workshops, and scholarships will celebrate lives of people who did not give-in to the guilt and shame imposed on being gay but worked their way to dignity and honor. We want this message to empower people to lead their lives with pride!'

By Anna Leach - Gay Star News - April 3, 2013