Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rethinking 42 with Anan Bouapha, Laos gay leader

(some of the sections of this interview containing more personal questions were removed on Monday 23/7 9am Laos time, per Anan's request. The original interview text was approved by Anan prior to publishing, but he had second thoughts after seeing it live, which is totally legitimate dl)

Anan Bouapha is the unofficial recognized leader of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) community in the Asian country of Laos, who recently organized the country's first ever Pride event, hosted at the US embassy. Anan is involved in a million and one activities around LGBT empowerment and HIV prevention. I sat down with him for a chat on the answer to life, the universe and everything. Our meeting was appropriately set to 11pm at Pack Luck, a gay-friendly bar in Vientiane. On a Thursday night, the bar was empty except for us - myself, being in the midst of a self-imposed no-alcohol month, sipping mineral water and Anan drinking coke. I wonder how this bar stays in business.