Wed, Nov 15, 2017 - Page 13 News List

The silent awakening

As the Taiwan LGBTQ Pride Parade grows in size every year, more people — both inside and outside the community — are speaking out, although many are still held back by social stigmas

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

UNRELATED GROUPS?

Another sign of the silent majority becoming more vocal is the inclusion of seemingly unrelated groups such as the aforementioned Trade Union of Electrical, Electronic and Information in Taiwan.

Tai says that Taiwan does not have the culture seen in many Western societies, where a corporation benefits when they publicly support LGBTQ rights.

Participating in the name of an organization also involves facing stigma as it may affect their business or relations with other groups. Registering with the parade as an organization means making a company’s stance known to the public, especially since registration is not required.

Lin Ming-che (林名哲), secretary general of the union, says that as a body representing multiple trades, their focus is often on public issues, especially labor rights, instead of specific problems within a company or group.

“Someone brought up participating in the parade during an administrative meeting,” he says. “Nobody was against it, and it seems our members generally accept the LGBTQ community and support same-sex marriage, especially among the younger generation.”

Their only concern was whether any of their members would be against such a move.

Another factor was the ever-growing numbers of people attending the parade, which meant publicity.

“To be honest, we also wanted to make ourselves seen by the public,” Lin says. “The Pride Parade is even bigger than the Labor Day Parade.”

Tai says many corporations have individual LGBTQ groups within them, which have become more vocal and visible since the same-sex marriage debate intensified.

“It’s a process,” he says. “Both sides are slowly trying to figure out what the right time is for them to appear in public on behalf of the company.”

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