Pride in The Time of Corona

Chhoeun holding a rainbow flag at one of the previous LGBTI exhibition events.

"We have always celebrated this religious ceremony to keep the love and care we have as LGBTI couples. Now we observe it hoping and praying that our village, as well as Cambodia, stays safe and away from Corona”
Chhoeun

IDAHOT Facebook campaigns in Cambodia

Covid-19 is a dangerous disease that is affecting millions of people worldwide. Two members of CamASEAN, an empowerment grantee in Cambodia, shared what has happened to them during this unprecedented time.

Sophea Pheung, Volunteer at CamASEAN

Pheung Sophea is a volunteer and a human rights activist living in Phnom Penh. Covid-19 affects her ability to work since most of her work involves community visits and activities. She said CamASEAN has provided necessities to the communities but she still sees the heavy burden the community bear from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Luckily for Sophea, communication barriers are minimised as she can use her smartphone and access the internet. She is still determined to work from home, collecting stories and photos online, as well as doing community visits with a limited number of people (family-based).



In her own words, “The LGBTI exhibition is supposed to be organised but the local authorities have not allowed people to gather; therefore, we decided to postpone the exhibition and a planned youth’s training.”


A previous photo exhibition workshop

Regarding the IDAHOT this year, even if physical events are not allowed, the LGBTI Pride Week 2020 will kick-off online with the following campaigns and events:

Family Acceptance Campaign is a 6-month online campaign on social media that collects photos and videos from LGBTI individuals, their family and friends. The campaign starts from May 17th to Dec 10, 2020 through the following Facebook pages:

Facebook Live with elderly LGBTI starts from14th to 17th May 2020 from the social media page https://www.facebook.com/MyVoiceMyStory.


Chhoeun, an activist of CamASEAN in Kampong Thom province

Chhoeun has married to her partner for long. She has over five years of experience in facilitating and networking LGBTI people in the community, organising events and amplifying their voices through the LGBTI exhibition and other LGBTI-related events, linked to religious celebrations.

"We have always celebrated this religious ceremony to keep the love and care we have as LGBTI couples. Now we observe it hoping and praying that our village, as well as Cambodia, stays safe and away from Corona,” said Chhoeun.

By Daro Chheang and Teyaorm Mas, Research and Project Officer at This Life Cambodia