Taiwan Pride

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Taiwan Pride 2005 on Zhongxiao East Road in Taipei. The sign reads: "Central Queer Celebration" (a group).
Workers of the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association participating in Taiwan Pride in Taipei in 2005.

Taiwan Pride (臺灣同志遊行 Táiwān Tóngzhì Yóuxíng) is the annual gay pride parade in Taiwan. The parade was first held in 2003. Although joined by groups from all over the country, the primary location has always been the capital city of Taipei. The most recent parade, held in October 2013, attracted more than 67,000 participants, making it one of the largest gay pride events in Asia.[1][2][3]

Comparison with other pride parades[edit]

Women Coalition of HKSAR showing their support in the Taiwan Pride parade in Taipei in 2005.
Water Boys

Taiwan Pride differs in many ways from gay pride parades held in the USA and Europe. The parade foundation is one example. Western parades often show a divergence between social movements and "commercialization". Some pride parades are financed by corporations targeting gay customers, and sometimes the parade even becomes an advertising venue for the corporations.[citation needed] In some communities the conflict is so great that one parade even separates into two.[citation needed] Taiwan Pride is still primarily a social movement, with little advertisement — there are even complaints that local gay-targeting corporations give too little support to the parade.[1]

Taiwan Pride also differs in the type of parade. A majority of the parades around the world usually take control of the main road, blocking bystanders on the sidewalk. Taiwan Pride share the road with cars, bikes and bystanders, and is subject to regular traffic control. While it is inconvenient and sometimes dangerous for participants, sharing the road without clear separation also blurs the distinction between participants and bystanders, providing a gray zone of participation.[2]

History[edit]

HKSAR gives banner to Taiwan Pride.

Before 2003[edit]

There were several small pride parades before the first formal Taiwan Pride parade in 2003. For example, 300 gays identified themselves in the 1996 parade of The National Women's Coalition. In 2002, some gays publicly protested at the Ministry of National Defence against the practice of forbidding gays from military police service.

Taipei Pride[edit]

2003[edit]

The first Taiwan Pride parade was held on November 1, 2003. It was the first one in the Chinese community, and encouraged the gay community in Hong Kong to hold its own parade. Many people in Taiwan didn't notice the parade at all, but almost all electronic and paper media reported the parade.

The parade was held in Taipei, starting from 228 Memorial Park, a long-time gathering place for gay men in Taipei, and going along Hengyang Road to Red Playhouse in Ximending. The parade was joined by more than 20,000 people from dozens of groups, including Waterboys, NCU Center for the Study of Sexualities, Gin Gin's, and the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association. As part of the government-sponsored Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, the parade received NT$70,000 from the city government. Mayor (later President) Ma Ying-jeou gave a speech at the end of the parade, saying that Taipei as an international city should respect individuals of different groups and cultures. He also said that major cities in the world all have large gay communities. The existence and respect of such communities is important to the diversity of a city. After the speech, there was a LGBT karaoke contest.

After the parade, city council member Wang Shih-cheng criticized city government for "encouraging homosexuality" and "obscenity". Many gay groups were upset by the comments and refused funding from the government the next year.

2004: Awaken Citizen Conscious[edit]

The second Taiwan Pride parade was held on November 6, 2004, again in Taipei. This parade started at 1 p.m. at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, marched along Ketagalan Boulevard, through 228 Memorial Park, Chungshan Hall, and ended at the Red Playhouse in Ximending.

The parade used "Awaken Citizen Conscious" as its primary slogan, along with "Citizen with Exceptions‧City with Colors‧Society with Varieties‧Politics with Participation". Featuring participants other than homosexuals, such as bisexuals, transgendered people, the BDSM Company representing BDSMers, and Collective Of Sex Workers And Supporters (zh:日日春關懷互助協會) representing sex workers. Harmony Home Association also participated.

The parade date was close to the legislator election, and many candidates showed up to get publicity.

2005: Be Together![edit]

AIDS quilt in front of City Hall.
BDSM Company, part of the 2005 parade, sharing the road with cars.

The third Taiwan Pride parade, in 2005, featured the union of homosexuals, sex workers, pornographic content authors and alternative sex practitioners; against "waves of repression" such as the "Law on Classification for Published Materials and Video Programs". The parade used "Be Together!" as its primary slogan. The parade was hosted by an ad hoc organization and the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association. BDSM Company also took lots of works.

There were forecasts of a possible typhoon landfall on the day of the parade (October 1), but it was a sunny day. The parade started at 1 p.m. at the Eslite bookstore on Tun Hua S. Road, marched along Zhongxiao E. Road Sec. 4, and ended at City Hall at 5 p.m. At the end of the parade, Women Coalition of HKSAR thanked Taiwan Pride for encouraging the Hong Kong parade in 2004, and gave a banner to Taiwan Pride, which was represented by Wang Ping from Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan. The artist Topper also gave cross-dressing performances.

Sponsorship[edit]

Many commercial organizations sponsored the parade, including Eslite bookstore, the Fridae gay dating website, and PRI.V"ee.

2006: Get together and organize a family![edit]

Taiwan Pride was held on September 30 in Taipei city. It was said there were more than 10 thousand of people joining Taiwan Pride. The parade used "Get together and organize a family!" as its primary slogan.

2007: Rainbow Power[edit]

Taiwan Pride was held 13 October 2007 in Taipei with the parade slogan "Rainbow power". There were estimated 15,000 people in the parade. Many gay and lesbian communities from abroad also participated this time. In the middle of the road, the crowd organized a "Rainbow landscape" which contains the 6 color as a gay pride symbol. Aussiebum, an Australian men's swimwear manufacturer, also sponsored a group called "Waterboy" with their swimwear. This is the first time that Taiwan Pride has a powerful commercial sponsor in its history.

2008: Run the Rainbow Way[edit]

The 2008 version of Taiwan Pride was held on 27 September and attracted 18,000 participants, the largest turnout so far.[3]

2009: Love Out Loud[edit]

Taiwan Pride 2009 was on 31 October. It attracted 25,000 participants. The key focus of this parade was LGBT rights, particularly anti-discrimination laws and the recognition of same-sex unions. The parade sought to express disappointment with the government, which had not acted on its previous commitments to legalise same-sex marriage.[2]

2010: Out and Vote[edit]

Held on 30 October, under the theme "Out and Vote," the Taiwanese LGBT community marched from 228 Memorial Park onwards to Ximen and then on to Taipei Main Station and back, fighting for concrete measures from the government that protect the rights of the LGBT community. To date of the parade, such commitments from the government have yet to yield tangible results. There were over 30,000 participants, making Taiwan Pride the largest Pride Parade in Asia.[1]

Taiwan LGBT Pride Community, the organizer of Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade, decided to hold the parade on a stationary date, the last Saturday of October, since this year.

2011: LGBT Fight Back, Discrimination Get Out![edit]

The 9th parade was held on October 29, 2011. Because of the obstacles from the True Love League while Ministry of Education proposed lessons of gender equity based on the gender equity education, and other sexual events happening this year, the theme of the 9th parade was orientated as "LGBT Fight Back, Discrimination Get Out!" [4][5]

There were about 50,000 participants. Hence, the routes had to be separated into East line and West line. The West line which is new went through the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which is a large cultural and educational area in Taiwan.

The Rainbow Ambassadors of 2011 include Deserts Chang, who sang on the night party after parade and kissed a female fan on stage.[6]

Pride Parade in Kaohsiung, South Taiwan[edit]

Kaohsiung Pride[edit]

2010: Coming out[edit]

The first Kaohsiung LGBT Pride Parade on south Taiwan was held in 2010. The organizer of Kaohsiung parade was the South Office of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (also known as "Hotline 968"), supported by the Civil Affairs Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, held on 18 September. There were around 2,000 participants.

2011: Out & out[edit]

The 2nd Kaohsiung LGBT Pride Parade was held on September 24, 2011 under the theme "OUT & out" with over 3,000 participants. The parade was organized by a new organization, Kaohsiung LGBT Pride Community.

2012: I am Gay and your Companion[edit]

The Third Annual LGBT Pride Parade in Kaohsiung was held on 22 September 2012 under the theme " I am gay and your companion" with over 3,000 participants.

2013: Sharing the Same Space in Harmony[edit]

The Fourth Annual LGBT Pride Parade in Kaohsiung was held on 29 June 2013 under the theme "Sharing the same space in harmony" with around 4,000 participants. It was the first time the Kaohsiung Pride Parade had provided English language service from its official website. It was also the first time LGBT Pride Parade in Kaohsiung had got a lesbian convener-in-chief. The world-wide media publicity both in English and Chinese languages was a milestone for Kaohsiung. Especially, the full page, under the headline "Kaohsiung goes gay", reported by Taipei Times was the first seen in the history of Taiwan's pride parades. There were at least two foreigners' groups attended the march.

Pride Parade in Taichung, Central Taiwan[edit]

Taichung Pride[edit]

The first Central Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade in Taichung has been scheduled for December 17, 2011 under the theme "Stand for Love, perfectly natural," and calls on the Taichung City Government to attach importance to gender/sexuality rights, and protests against the government's reduction of the gender-friendly environment and closing of many gender-friendly stores in recent years. The organizer is "League of Sex/Gender Groups in Central Taiwan".

A month and a half before the Taichung Parade, the Central Taiwan LGBT Health and Culture Center (also known as "Taichung Rainbow Paradise") was forced to move due to pressure from a landlord.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gay Pride Parade Draws Record Numbers, Taiwan Today, 1 November 2010
  2. ^ a b March for gay marriage, Straits Times, 31 October 2009
  3. ^ a b Taipei LGBTs march proud and loud in Asia's largest gay parade, Fridae
  4. ^ 台灣真相聯盟 [Taiwan Truth Union] (in Chinese). Taiwan Truth Union. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ 台灣同志遊行 2011 主題與精神 [The Essence of 2011 Taiwan LGBT Parade] (in Chinese). Taiwan LGBT Pride Community. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Taiwan is so gay". Radio Taiwan International. November 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ 台中一中商圈 阻同志進駐 [Taichung Yizhong Market Area Refuse LGBT-friendly Stores]. Apple Daily (Taiwan) (in Chinese). October 28, 2011. 

External links[edit]