The Taiwan Pride Community yesterday announced the opening of a series of lectures throughout Taiwan on Gay Literature and Film starting Sept. 4 and continuing until an Oct. 1 gay pride parade in Taipei.
The Gay Pride 101 Parade will be held in Taipei and the parade route will begin at Eslite Bookstore on Dunhua S Road, then cross Zhongxiao E Road and end in Xinyi District.
giant phallic symbol
The parade name of "101," other than signifying the date, was also named after the Taipei 101 building, which is often regarded as a giant phallic symbol.
In addition, the numbers 1 and 0 normally represent the gender role that gays play.
When people think of gays, they usually think of male gays, said Wang Ping (王蘋), the secretary-general of Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan.
However, there are L, G, B, T, and Q, which stand for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, and queers, she said.
Those who question their own sexuality are also referred to as "Q," she added.
The parade participants should not only be from the gay community, said Ashley Wu (巫緒樑), director of public affairs at the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association.
"We hope that non-gays can participate, as well as other social groups or even government departments," Wu added.
Symbol of equality
The parade is a symbol of equality in our society, and there should be no more discrimination against gays, said J.J. Lai (賴正哲), who is the owner of Gingin's Bookstore, the first gay and lesbian theme bookstore in Taiwan.
Lai was recently charged by the Keelung District Court for selling gay magazines imported from Hong Kong.
"The customs officials at Keelung Port confiscated the magazines after inspection," Lai said.
"The magazines are legal in Hong Kong, but here in Taiwan I face charges of indecency," Lai added.
Sometimes gay books and magazines are called "indecent," when what is written is merely knowledge about what gays are like, Wu said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) expressed support for the parade and called for non-discrimination against gays in society.
Gay movements are rather successful in Taiwan compared to other countries in Asia, Cheng said.
Nevertheless, "People talk about the Thai laborers' rights, but they often neglect the rights of other groups in Taiwan, such as gays," he added.
Cheng will be participating in the Gay Pride 101 Parade along with other legislators, and vowed he would try to amend laws regarding indecency charges on gays in the future.
For more information about the parade, log on to http://twpride.net.