VnExpress International
The most read Vietnamese newspaper
Contact us |
Follow us on            instagram

Marathon running barber bears LGBT standard

By Thanh Duong   May 11, 2021 | 05:19 pm PT
Marathon running barber bears LGBT standard
Nguyen Hoai Phuong on the marathon track. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hoai Phuong.
Nguyen Hoai Phuong has borne the six-color LGBT flag at many marathons this year.

"I want to inspire people like me to confidently express themselves and participate in sports events. I hope everyone would adopt a positive view of the LGBT community," Phuong said.

Phuong only started running in 2020, competing in eight online tournaments. In early 2021, he finally took it to the street in a real marathon.

The idea of wearing the six-color LGBT symbol developed after Phuong read an article in an international newspaper on athletes showing the community their support. The 24-year-old feels really proud when he held the flag high while running on the track.

At his first offline marathon, Phuong finished 42 kilometers in 4 hours and 32 minutes, a feat many athletes typically have to spend a year practicing for.

Nguyen Hoai Phuong in a night marathon. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hoai Phuong.

Nguyen Hoai Phuong in a night marathon. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hoai Phuong.

Phuong said he likes to set goals for himself, so despite only having practiced for about three months, he still decided to join the tournament to promote the spirit of running. In addition to marathons, Phuong also enjoys cycling and rock climbing.

He gets emotional when recalling his difficult road to acceptance.

"I came out to my family about 4-5 years ago, when I was just discharged from the army. I had realized my true gender a long time ago, but it was not until after I was discharged that I decided to come out," Phuong said, adding the tense atmosphere at home eventually dissolved.

"I am very happy with my family at the moment," he said.

Now, with the support of his family, Phuong no longer lives in fear and runs his own small hair salon.

"I’m very fortunate to have received so much support during each marathon. I’m really happy to have encountered so many positive reactions," Phuong said.

Nguyen Hoai Phuong wears the LGBT flag on the running track. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hoai Phuong.

Nguyen Hoai Phuong wears the LGBT flag on the running track. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hoai Phuong.

Inspired by Phuong, many of his friends from the LGBT community are also excited to run an upcoming marathon. He believes this is a good start for a marathon movement in the LGBT community.

"I am training every day to be able to compete for more. Hopefully next year, me and my friends could compete together, to forge a better and stronger LGBT community," he said.

VnExpress is hosting its 15th overall virtual race named "Run for Pride," with a message of appreciating and understanding the many colors of the LGBT community. Over 2,000 people will participate in the event, with the usual distance of three, five, 10, 21 and 42 kilometers. Each participant will have two weeks, from May 10 to 24 to compete in the marathon.

 
Enjoy unlimited articles and premium content with only $1.99 Subscribe now
 
go to top