Home Institution

Emory University

Publication Date

Spring 2023

Program Name

Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development


The LGBTQ+ community is estimated to make up around 9% to 11% of Vietnam’s total population. Over the past few decades, Vietnam has undergone significant changes, marked by its increasing interconnectedness with the global community. These changes have also brought about a shift in perceptions and advocacy toward the LGBTQ+ community. Also bringing along a change in attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community in Vietnam is self-expression and fashion. Through drag or wearing gender-nonconforming attire, queer individuals are able to challenge the restrictive gender binary prevalent in Vietnamese society. Self-expression and fashion are also critical in helping queer individuals form and assert their identities. Through in-depth interviews with six members of the Vietnamese LGBTQ+ community residing in Hanoi, along with an online survey, this study will determine how the Vietnamese queer community situates itself within the broader global community and the role of fashion and self-expression in shaping Vietnamese queer identity-making. The results of this study reveal the foreign influence on the LGBTQ+ community in Vietnam. The spread of LGBTQ+ language and culture across the globe has played a large role in shaping the experiences and identities of queer individuals in Vietnam. Additionally, this study highlights the connection between fashion and self-expression with LGBTQ+ resistance, recognition, and empowerment. By using fashion and personal style as a means of self-expression, Vietnamese queer individuals assert their identities and challenge conventional gender norms and stereotypes.


Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Fashion Design | Gender and Sexuality | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Politics and Social Change


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