This Transgender Bodybuilder is Crushing Barriers in Vietnam

“With his position on the city’s bodybuilding team, Kendy has become a role model in the local LGBTQ community, which is facing a turning point in the fight for equality.” Lorcan Lovett writes for Narrative.ly. 


Kendy stands at the crossroads of two Vietnamese communities – LGBTQ people and bodybuilders – in a patriarchal and conservative society where obedience is often expected of women above anything else, and homosexuality is discouraged.

Having taken some years to accept his true gender identity, Kendy’s family is still far more progressive than the Vietnam Bodybuilding Federation, which hasn’t even broached the subject yet, instead barring Kendy from competing in the men’s division.

“It doesn’t matter if I am a trans man or not,” he says with a smile. “What matters is my attempt at bodybuilding and that I put my effort into training.”

Kendy was born in the northern port city of Hai Phong. “When I was two or three, I knew that I was not like other girls,” he says. “I wanted to be a boy. I did everything like a boy and I hung out with boys.”

Being different at school did not make him a target for bullies, he says, perhaps because of his audacity. He was never shy of showing people he was a man. “So when I came out, people around me were not surprised.”

Read the full article here at Narrative.ly.

Featured image from Narrative.ly.

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