(AQWA Members Deanna, Lan, Michelle and Genevieve holding signs just before the Tet Parade began)
On Feb 13, AQWA marched with Vietnamese LGBT groups in the Tet parade in Little Saigon. This was a historic day since this was the first time an LGBT contingency participated in the annual new year’s parade. We did not know what to expect since some churches had decided to boycott the parade due to our presence. But it turned out to be a joyous day. Our contingency created a wedding procession with 2 brides and 2 grooms. Most of the marchers wore colorful "aodai", traditional Vietnamese dress, and carried symbolic wedding presents.
We had to limit the number of marchers since the parade organizers warned us that we could not be much larger than what was estimated in our parade application. But hearing that protestors might attend, supporters lined the parade route. We only saw two signs against us and heard two groups booing in the distance. Supporters far out numbered the detractors. At one point, an older, straight, white couple wearing matching PFLAG shirts joined our group just to let us know they were there to support us but would stay on the side lines so that our contingency would not get too big. The most amazing moments came at the end of the parade when an older, Vietnamese man shouted out that he loved us. Let's take that as a sign for an auspicious new year. Chuc mung nam moi. Happy Year of the Tiger.
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