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Gay sitcom becomes unlikely hit in Vietnam | VIDEO

The first episode of "My Best Gay Friends" has now attracted over one million views on YouTube. The show's success has come as a surprise in Vietnam, where gay and lesbian people face routine discrimination in universities and workplaces and are frequently ridiculed in popular media.

"I've seen many movies and comedies about the homosexual community. The images of homosexuals are very negative and audiences then have an ugly idea of the community," said Dang Khoa, a 21-year-old gay student who wrote and created the series.

While never a criminal offence, as recently as 2002 homosexuality was described as a "social evil" by the rigidly-controlled state press.

Vietnam's adherence to traditional Confucian morality places family at the centre of society, and ensuring the family line continues is of prime importance. That means most gays and lesbians marry and do not reveal their true sexuality.

Over the last couple of years, though, a growing public debate about homosexuality has emerged, in part because the ruling communist party do not regard it as a challenge to their authority.

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