On the morning of 22 January, a press conference was held at the Goethe Institute on the ongoing &PROUD festival and Yangon Pride taking place until 2 February.
Hla Myat Tun, Deputy Director of Colors Rainbow and Co-Founder of &PROUD, along with Willem Van Rooij, Co-Founder of &PROUD, and Nicki, a transgender woman activist, spoke to journalists about the 6th edition of &PROUD Festival and 2nd Yangon Pride. As a special guest, Miss Universe Myanmar, Swe Zin Htet, who got recently recognized internationally for coming out as lesbian, also spoke at the conference.
Willem provided detailed information about the ongoing &PROUD festival and shared a public invitation to celebrate Pride together. Hla Myat shared that the campaign #LoveIsNotACrime calls for the decriminalization of same-sex relations and forlong awaited law reform for the legal protection of the LGBTIQ community in Myanmar. “Love is not a crime, it is a blessing. The message of the campaign is to question why the simple act of love is criminalized” he added.
Miss Universe Myanmar Swe Zin Htet expressed her gratitude for being awarded the annual Hero awards and reiterated her support in promoting the #LoveIsNotACrime campaign in the country: “Love is not a crime because love is all that matters. Whether it is boys loving boys or girls loving girls. Or anyone else. Love is a peaceful act. All I want to say is that love is not a crime.”