Rainbow Love. Sor Vern and Sok
By: Voice Team Cambodia
Sor Vern met Sok in the 1970s at a very young age. After 1979, they decided to live under the same roof. At that time, in what was considered “unnatural love” for a woman to marry another woman, they got married and became a lesbian couple regardless of the discrimination they faced then till today.
Sor Vern was always afraid to talk to people and even scared of sharing her story. She felt ashamed as she was lesbian, disabled, and homeless. Though same-sex love is not criminalized; it is usually frowned upon.
Even before they became a couple, Vern’s family never fully supported the idea of them being together. Her father even used violence on her trying to stop her from having same-sex love. Adding people’s opinions on her, her parents become even more hateful of the couple. Meanwhile, Sok’s family was carefree toward them as long as they were independent and taking good care of themselves.
She was living in a dormitory for persons with disabilities but was later was canceled and turned the ownership to the pagoda. They are currently living on the pagoda’s land plot. Vern earns money from tailoring clothes at home while Sok goes from place to place working at construction sites.
Sok joined CAMASEAN supported by Voice– in a session learning about Gender Equality and LGBTIQ rights and sharing them with her partner. They participated in the village exhibition project in their community, where they invited neighbors, village chiefs, police, and monks to participate in the exhibition. Now, the neighbors and relatives have embraced them, they come to visit them,