Welcome to October, and happy Taiwanese Pride Month!
Yep, you heard it right: the Taiwan LGBT Pride is coming up soon in Taipei. Perhaps you have already heard about how gay-friendly it is in Taipei, or have been following the latest process of same-sex marriage legalization in Taiwan - you might even be thinking about joining our next Pride! In that case, this is the blog post for you! Many that have participated in Prides of other countries are still amazed at the difference in style, content and symbolism of Taiwan LGBT Pride. So how exactly do we differ from the others? Keep reading to find out!
1. We've come a long way
In 1996, 200 members of the gay community gathered in Taipei to participate in the Women’s Right protest to advocate for women’s safety on the street at night, after a brutal (and unsolved) murder of Taiwanese Feminist Politician Peng Wan-ru. In 2002, members of the gay community gathered at the Ministry of National Defense in protest of its discrimination against gays regarding the recruitment of military police service. Both events later proved to have
paved paths for the LGBT right movement in Taiwan.
2. Sweet Sixteenth, since 2003
Held on Nov 1, 2003, Taiwan LGBT Pride was the first LGBT Pride in the Chinese-speaking sphere. The route of the first pride started from 228 Peace Memorial Park and lasted until Ximen Red House, along the historic timeline of gay right movement development in Taipei. Mayor (later President) Ma Ying-jeou then gave a speech at the end of the parade in the name of diversity, and hosted a LGBT Karaoke contest!
3. Summer Lovin’ does not apply
Many suspect the Taipei Pride does not take place in June like everywhere else due to our humid, hot, and often typhoon-threatened summer. Instead, we have our Pride customarily on the last Saturday in October when it’s nice and cool: perfect weather for an afternoon walk!
4. Passive government, Active people
If you compare the Taiwan LGBT Pride with Gay Pride events in other cities, the first thing you’d notice is that in Taiwan, the people ARE the Pride! In other words, instead of watching and waving at the parade performances as they pass by, you are part of the moving crowd! In fact, the government plays a minor role in the organization and funding of the events, and the Taiwan LGBT Pride has been solely funded by Taiwan LGBT NGOs and gender groups since 2004.
5. Where everybody knows you’re gay
With the record broken year after year, up to 123,000 individuals were estimated to have participated in the 2017 Taiwan LGBT Pride in Taipei. That is to say, you will be taking part in the largest Gay Pride event in Asia this October!
6. Keeping up with the “Konstitution”
On May 24, 2017, the Taiwanese Constitutional Court ruled that the current marriage laws restricted to a man and woman are unconstitutional. As a compromise between opposing positions, the court has announced a maximum of two years for the Legislative Yuan to amend current laws or create new ones to legally recognize same-sex marriage. To sum up, this upcoming Pride will be the last one before gay marriage is legalized next year in 2019! Don’t miss your chance to shine at the turning point of history!
7. Love Wins, and So does Capitalism
Unlike the West, where ideals of Commercialization and Social Movement often quarrel during events at Pride, it’s a much anticipated parade for both sides here in Taipei. You will find free handouts, corporational promotions, gay theme souvenirs on sale and many other goods related to what we call a “Rainbow Economy”. Here in Taiwan we make everything possible: even a Win-Win situation both for money and for love!
And now Kings and Queens, all there is left for you to do is joining us at the 2018 Taiwan LGBT Pride on October 27th, Saturday! What matters the most is for you to have fun, feel safe and respect others. Enjoy the rainbow vibe and freedom of expression on behalf of Like It Formosa! We hope to see you there!
Wanna know more stories about LGBT rights and culture in Taiwan? Join our LGBT Tour as we take you to LGBT themed shops and gathering places. Together we dig deep into the openness and diversity of Taiwanese culture!