For the most part Lao culture is pretty tolerant of homosexuality, although lesbianism is often either denied completely or misunderstood. In any case, public displays of affection, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are frowned upon.
While there are no laws criminalising homosexuality, the gay and lesbian scene is certainly more hidden these days and not nearly as prominent as in neighbouring Thailand. Authorities recently shut down drag shows in Vientiane and banned gay-friendly establishments from marketing themselves as such with rainbow flags. That doesn't mean they've disappeared!
Use these helpful resources to find the latest on Laos' gay scene:
Sticky Rice (www.stickyrice.ws) Gay travel guide covering Laos and Asia.
Utopia (www.utopia-asia.com) Gay travel information and contacts, including some local gay terminology.