Content warning: This article includes references to homophobia, transphobia and rape.

Last year, Lò Kim Thủy and her fiancé were in the final stretch of their courtship. She was from a small village in the mountains of Vietnam’s Sơn La Province, while he was from the neighbouring province of Phú Thọ. She was from the tiny Kháng ethnic minority, while his family was ethnically Thai. He had promised her a wedding, and all that was left to do was secure their families’ approval.

Local custom mandated that his family would visit hers, and then the groom-to-be would stay with her family for the next three months, followed by the wedding. However, two days into the visit, he and his family called the marriage off.

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Tracy Valera

Tracy Valera is a pseudonym for a social activist based in Hanoi who requested anonymity due to fear of reprisals by the government of Vietnam.

Tracy Valera est le pseudonyme d'une activiste sociale basée à Hanoi qui a demandé l'anonymat par crainte de représailles de la part du gouvernement vietnamien.

Charis Loke

Charis is an illustrator based in Penang, Malaysia. Drawing upon literature and visual culture, she makes pictures that evoke wonder and curiosity. As a member of Arts-ED, she also works on community arts and culture education programmes for youth. Her work can be found at

Charis is Comics Editor and Illustrations Editor for New Naratif. Reach her at