Homosexuality is seen as a bit of a cultural taboo, though most locals are known to be tolerant of it, for both men and women.
'Carnal intercourse against nature' is legally punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years. The law is rarely enforced, but it renders gays and lesbians vulnerable to police harassment.
Gay and transgendered people in Myanmar are rarely 'out', except for 'third sex' spirit mediums who channel the energies of nat spirits.
Some Buddhists believe that those who committed sexual misconduct (such as adultery) in a previous life become gay or lesbian in this one.
Public displays of affection, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are frowned upon; a local woman walking with a foreign man will raise more eyebrows than two same-sex travellers sharing a room.
For more information on GLBTI issues in Myanmar, see Colours Rainbow (www.colorsrainbow.com). Also check Utopia-Asia (www.utopia-asia.com), which publishes a gay guide to Southeast Asia, including Myanmar.