KT (TheGlamVN) – The “If Not Now, When?” Project Exhibition and Talkshow took place on March 22nd, 2017 at Hanoi University, with the purpose of propagandizing about eliminating LGBTQ+ community discrimination.

With the consent of NextGEN Hanoi, Project author Nguyễn Bằng Giang, TheGlamVN would like to introduce project “If Not Now, When?”.

“If Not Now, When?” is a project created by NextGEN Hanoi to generate a space of art describing what LGBTQ+ pupils/students have been experienced in the school environment and calling for protection of their rights.

The American Declaration of Independence states that

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

However, are people in LGBTQ+ community receiving the respect that they deserve to have, the rights that they deserve to endow?

It is not uncommon that nowadays, school bullying tends to increase rapidly. It’s not just about saying, fighting anymore, but also teasing and mocking someone who is or looks different, even “labeling” schoolmates “gay” “fat” “ugly” etc.

Unconsciously, all those discriminations, unrespectful behaviours towards the diversity in school have made many students fell into mental breakdowns. This is where the project began.

“They bully and become curious about my body, judge the way I act outside…”
“I was cyberbullying, and thus I understand that every single one of us can become a vulnerable victim of information violence…”
“They will point at me stare me out of countenance…”
“When they read some rumours about me on social networking sites, and they see me”
“They feel good doing their discriminated behaviours; they feel good with what they have done to me…”
“I am drained because of the curiosity of people.”
“I want to choose a proper WC for myself.”
“They usually pry into me when I walk in the toilet.”
“I chose to be what I really am to stop all the downhearted things. And you?”
“I am exhausted… I need to be myself!”
“Everyone has their own miserable… I feel bad being trapped in this body.”
“Can you understand my feelings towards all these complicated papers?”
“When I started to want to step out of the standards of the majority…”
“No matter who I am…a girl or a boy, I can still wear what I like to wear and live with my passion.”
“We are proud of everything that belongs to us.”
“We all want to have a safe, tolerant and equal school environment.”
“Every people can all have a possibility of being under pressure of study.”
“Sometimes we may feel extreme fatigue because of everything around…”
“I just want to get a rest but all those social pressure are still there…”
“Everyone has their own pressure. And I do either. I also got under pressure because I am afraid of people discrimination with my own love.”
“And they still do not even know that I did not want to keep strong any longer…”

The real message conveying by the photos has been shared by Project author Nguyễn Bằng Giang on the talk show, that ” “If Not Now, When?” was just a picture of all kinds of school bullying. Based on actual events, I hope that when looking at them, you and I will have a chance of questioning yourself and learning how to respect the diversity inside everyone. (…) No matter who you are, LGBT or not, you deserve to be proud of yourself.”

This event captivated many young people come to participate in. Apart from photos, they also get more informative documentaries relating to LGBTQ+. Within some hours enjoying the exhibition, they will get an opportunity to write down the labels or saying that friends usually label them, as a way to share and destress themselves.

The project of “If Not Now, When?” will also be held at Hanoi University of Education (with the cooperation of Dance4life Club) on April 26th, 2017, and at Quỳnh Lưu II Highschool, Nghe An (with the cooperation of Nguyễn Hà Vy and NextGEN Nghe An) on May 8th, 2017.

Special thanks to Project Author Nguyễn Bằng Giang, wish you all the best.