On Saturday the 26th of October, Taipei held its annual Pride celebration. It was always guaranteed to be a big event, but the arrival of same-sex marriage earlier this year ensured that there was an even more joyous and pride-enthused atmosphere than usual.
MORE THAN 200,000 participated in this year’s Taiwan LGBT Pride today, according to organizers. This makes today’s march—the 17th iteration of the annual pride parade—the largest ever in the history of the event. Last year’s pride parade drew 130,000, meaning that attendance has nearly doubled between this year and last year.
Taipei has long been one of the most progressive regions in Asia. It confirmed that reputation earlier in May when it became the first country in the whole of Asia to recognize same-sex marriage – a historic decision that was welcomed by many and has inspired activists in other countries to continue to push for change. Since that time, over 2,100 couples have wed.
The parade assembled in Taipei City Hall Square. Local activist Chi Chia-wei addressed the crowd from a balcony, saying, “We used to be worried and fearful, but we’ve accomplished it. So we’re all joining the Pride parade with joy.”
This year was the theme “Together, Make Taiwan Better”. The theme in Chinese means good neighbor. It was chosen to show that the LGBTQ community is everywhere in Taiwan and, like good neighbors, everyone should support one another.
Gay singer-songwriter HUSH was the ambassador for the landmark event. As one of only a handful of Taiwan celebrities to come out publicly, HUSH, whose real name is Chen Jia-Wei urged LGBT Taiwanese to be brave and come out.
Local Taiwanese authorities supported the Pride festival. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport displayed prominent rainbow banners welcoming people to Pride.
The Taiwan Foreign Ministry posted to its Facebook page, “This is the 17th #TaiwanPride, and, as ever, the biggest in #Asia! We hope you have your glad rags on, because this year’s celebration should be a special one after the passing of #SameSexMarriage legislation, with over 200,000 people expected to attend from all over the world!”
This year, according to organizers, the LGBT rights movement has moved to the next stage and will fight against prejudice and stereotyping of LGBT people.
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