By Ancient Ruins, a Gay Haven in Siem Reap, Cambodia (from New York Times) It was 10 p.m. in Siem Reap, and while most tourists were tucked in after a long, hot day exploring the temples of Angkor, things were just getting going at a bar called Linga. Pairs of European men in their 30s
Cambodia is a poor agricultural country of more than 15 million people, most of whom are Theravada Buddhists. Most of the late 20th century was destructive to the country as warring factions destroyed the economy and killed millions of innocent people. But since 1997 and the bully takeover by Hun Sen, now Prime Minister, the country has at least seen peace and some commercial progress. Angkor Wat Temple ruins draw millions of tourists every year.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Cambodia, partly due to the tolerant atmosphere of Buddhism although it does not encourage or support it. The culture recognizes an intermediate or third gender but there are no legal protections for these communities. In 2010, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights established the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project to empower LGBT people throughout Cambodia to advocate for their rights and to improve respect for LGBT people throughout Cambodia.
Cambodia’s first ever Pride celebration was held in 2003 in the capital city of Phnom Penh It is now a yearly event that openly celebrates the diversity of Cambodia. In 2015 the 11th Pride festival was held. Local businesses and LGBT community cooperated to organize this festival that featured seminars, workshops, films and parties to celebrate LGBT life and promote equality and understanding.
A daunting look into the dark life of displaced homosexuals in Phnom Penh, a world the tourists never see. It’s a world of poverty, rejection and hardship that usually leads to prostitution and petty crime. For an unknowing westerner, the ‘pretty boy’ on the corner in the evening has a sad tale to tell about
Cambodia continues to evolve out of a dark and bloody past into a more organized and civilized society. By fits and starts an elected government is making efforts at control and organization but not all is peaceful and trustworthy. The former kind has died and the ruling government wobbles between dictatorship and democracy. Meanwhile the
Intro: Near Cambodia’s Angkor Wat an unexpected surprise from our hotel waitress offers a poignant reminder of the spoils of war and poverty. Also see: Gay Cambodia Stories Gay Cambodia News & Reports 2004 to present Gay Cambodia Photo Galleries Richard Ammon (837 words) She first appeared from behind the old beverage cooler whose glass
Intro: After his release from four months in jail for alleged pedophilia–a charge that was found later to be fraudulent–Dr. Gavin Scott wrote this commentary about age-of-consent and it manipulation by foreign NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in the fractured legal system in Cambodia. Also see: Gay Cambodia Stories Gay Cambodia News & Reports 2004 to present
Two weeks in Cambodia was enough time to see the wondrous ancient ruins at Angkor Wat and to encounter the different faces of gay life here. I listened to a gay British doctor in Phnom Penh who was jailed, visited a gay dentist volunteering his services, watched the handsome but poor money boys and unexpectedly