Loud and proud: International Youth Day in Myanmar

To mark International Youth Day, community based organisations Myanmar Youth Stars and Youth Voices Count co-organised a Loud & Proud event in Yangon to tackle self-stigma amongst young men who have sex with men (MSM) and young transgender people.

Members of Youth Voices Count and Myanmar Youth Stars

Tacking negativity

The Loud and Proud Campaign was initiated in response to the unique self-stigma issues facing MSM, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Asia and the Pacific.

The full extent of the negative beliefs that these young people have about themselves was revealed in community research conducted by Youth Voices Count

“The Loud and Proud event in Yangon created much needed space for young people to feel comfortable being who they are, and being with who they love,” commented Kyaw Min Htun who is a member of the Board of Directors of Myanmar Youth Stars, and also a member of Youth Voices Count.

Deep concerns

According to Dr. Soe Naing, Executive Director of Alliance Myanmar, one of five country partners in the Alliance-led Link Up programme, 95% of new infections among young people occur among these most-at-risk group. 

“Due to widespread discrimination, young transgender people and young MSM are much more vulnerable than other groups and are underserved by current health services in the country,” he said.

View these stunning photos taken by members of the Myanmar Youth Stars group earlier this year and exhibited at the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne in July 2014.