But obviously with my career, I have to be careful so as to prevent it negatively affecting me. Burmese traditions and values have always been very conservative.
This has since allowed better reporting of LGBT issues and therefore with it a lot of development for the Burmese LGBT population, for example: We’ve learnt by now on our travels that even in quite homophobic countries like the Maldives, there’s one rule for tourists and another for locals.We have unfortunately had to use a different name to protect Aung Zuy’s identity. I’m Aung Zuy, 31 years old Burmese gay living in Yangon and a teacher for young children.Sorry for the anonymity but because of the homophobic and closed society I live in, I have to be careful to prevent this affecting my career. They are either married with kids or parading around the town with a trophy girlfriend.Myanmar is a very conservative and religious country with around 89% of the population practising Buddhism.In addition, it has retained the old colonial homophobic laws inherited from the British Empire.Most Myanmar people, particularly men, love a drink – and are more than happy to enjoy one in the company of foreigner visitors.During the day and early evening, it is always easy to find a restaurant or beer station to sit down and have a refreshing beer or glass of rum (albeit sometimes on a small and shaky stool! The concept and traditions of drinking in Myanmar are different to other parts of the world, however.Due to decades of poverty and frequent electricity black-outs, nightlife does not really exist outside large cities and some luxury hotels and resorts; in general, finding anywhere outside these areas that is open after 9pm can be difficult.But as locals get wealthier and more foreign tourists and business people arrive, things are slowly changing.Simple, open air restaurants that serve alcohol are called beer stations, and can be found on the streets of cities, towns and villages around Myanmar.They usually serve one of the country’s decent draught beers (more information below), and are at the heart of Myanmar drinking culture; people come to meet, talk, eat and drink – and engage in one of the nation’s favourite pastimes, watching live European football.