A Vietnamese sitcom about young homosexual male friends is proving to be a massive online hit, promoting gay rights in a country where civil liberties are limited.

My Best Gay Friends has received around one to two million views per episode on YouTube with 10 of the planned 15 episodes now available online.

"The first time I created this TV show, it was just for fun," creator and lead actor Huynh Nguyen Dang Khoa said.

"It was entertainment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of Vietnam.

"I couldn't imagine how powerful it would become, how it would influence other people, non-gays and their parents."

The low-budget comedy follows the adventures of 20-year-old student Khoa, who is forced to live with two homosexual friends after his parents tell him he needs to move out of the family home.

Dang Khoa says he was inspired to create the show because the LGBT community was misrepresented in Vietnam's mainstream media.

"I saw images on television that misrepresented the gay community. They were just making fun of us. It was very distorted," Dang Khoa said.

Although homosexuality is traditionally seen as taboo in Vietnamese culture, the LGBT community has enjoyed positive publicity in recent years.

The Justice and Health ministers have both come out in support of gay marriage, the nation has held its second annual LGBT pride parade, while transgender singer Huong Giang was a finalist in Vietnam Idol, and films such as Lost in Paradise have gained international acclaim.

The second season of My Best Gay Friends will be a musical, with filming for the 15 to 20 episode season beginning next month.

"My next musical will be made with a tight budget," he said.

"I know a friend who is a good music composer, and a group of friends will help me shooting this new show.

"Furthermore, a dance group will create choreography for the show."

Despite the the popularity of My Best Gay Friends online, Dang Khoa says the show has not received any interest or support from Vietnam's mainstream broadcasters.

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