Creating spaces for dialogue

Exploring queer cinema in Southeast Asia

by Griselda Gabriele

Southeast Asian queer creators are familiar with having their stories hidden or overwritten, but with films as their medium of choice, they are gradually reclaiming their places in society’s narrative.

“The first step is the fear of telling the truth. […] After I told the truth, I felt like a bird flying in the air.” –Phyo Thit Luu in That’s The Way I Am (2014)
The queer characters of Southeast Asian history
Changing perceptions
Censorship of queerness in films
“Nowadays, I am demanding the village chief or authority to recognise me. Although I am a lesbian, I have a heart, too. I love all Khmer people. I demand my rights of not being discriminated against and this is for the next generations as well.” –Soth Yun in Two Girls Against the Rain (2012)
Creating spaces for queer communities
“It’s an agony. I’ve had to live as two persons. And the fake person has to live more than the true person. The true person only lives when I find the people who are in the same boat.” –Master Luu Ngoc Duc in Love Man Love Woman (2007)
Pride events and queer-inclusive film festivals
Queer-friendly organisations and advocacy groups
Tap an icon on the map to read the story.
Hold CTRL or ⌘ to zoom the map
Tap here to skip past the map segment
Finding your place in the community
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at
Design & illustration / Munirah Mansoor
Data visualisation / Bianchi Dy
Recommended Stories
Kontinentalist's - Latest Stories Stamp