Ambassador Kritenbrink Remarks: Hanoi Pride 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019
American Club, Hanoi

Xin chào các bạn. Happy Pride!

I am honored to be here today to celebrate the 8th annual Hanoi Pride. Thank you to: the organizers of Hanoi Pride for all you have done to make this possible, the businesses and embassies that have sponsored this event, and I am so glad that we can host this important event here at the American Club.

This is the second time that I have participated in this special annual event. I am so glad to see that it has been growing both in size and in quality.

This year honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, otherwise known as the Stonewall Uprising, which saw members of the LGBTQ community fight back against harassment from the police in New York City in June 1969.

While 50 years have passed since that momentous year, the global LGBT community remains steadfast in its continual fight to demand respect and equality, which are universal rights that should belong to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

During the past eight years, our Embassy team here in Hanoi and our Consulate colleagues in Ho Chi Minh City have developed a close and cooperative relationship with the Vietnamese LGBT community to help advance these fundamental rights. Exchange programs have connected Vietnamese and American LGBT leaders, enabling them to share best practices, expand cooperative networks, and create synergies in fighting discrimination. We are extremely proud of these efforts and look forward to many future years of cooperation!

On a personal note, I am very proud to be here today to see pride flags everywhere. We waive these flags to show our pride – the pride of overcoming prejudice to be our real self, and the pride of being united to fight against discrimination in order to be equal in every sense of the word.

There is a saying that if you want to go far, go together. I believe that if we continue to stand together in solidarity for what we believe, we will go much further to achieve a better world for us and for future generations.

I believe an inclusive society leads to a more prosperous society. The United States is committed to promoting equality for all and we are proud to partner with you for a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam. America stands with you!

Happy Pride!