Fri, Aug 21, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Gay activist makes island-wide tour

By Chien Hui-ju and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chang Tse-yu holds a banner with a rainbow-colored slogan against the Ministry of Education’s adjustments to high-school curriculum guidelines.

PHOTO: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times

Carrying with him a rainbow colored flag reading: “Starting from Tainan, going to a place with no prejudice,” 17-year-old Chang Tse-yu (張澤瑜) yesterday brandished the poster he had carried with him on a nationwide trip that startat the end of last month, hoping to send a message on Lovers’ Day today wishing happiness to couples as well as to call attention to the issue of tolerance.

Just before embarking on his journey on July 30, Chang told his mother he was a homosexual, saying he has a boyfriend.

He said he is lucky to have an understanding mother whose response was: “I’m proud that my son has a boyfriend at the age of 17.”

His declaration was met with respect by his friends as well, he said, adding that the affirmation of his orientation caused him to make the best use of the summer vacation with a cross-island journey carrying a rainbow flag

Chang said he hopes his action will bring warmth to the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) community.

Starting out from Tainan, Chang traveled around the island in a clockwise direction, carrying with him a large poster, reading: “I am a homosexual, I am not strange, but like heterosexuals, we seek to be a pillar of strength for our partners through simple love” along with a 150cm flag.

Through my travels I hope to let everyone know that homosexuals are like other people, Chang said, adding that he hopes one day that homosexuals would, like other people, receive equal protection under the law.

If everyone could refrain from being biased and prejudiced, all of us would have a “beautiful day,” Chang said.

Many people have been there for me to offer me courage and concern, Chang said, adding that some families invited him in for dinner to talk about the issue of homosexuals “coming out” or about the issues of being friendly toward others.

Some nurseries and daycare centers invited him to talk with children and share that to be male, one need not always be “macho,” while they do not necessarily have to like girls, Chang said.

Chang also said that he would always explain the significance of the rainbow flag at such events.

It is saddening to hear complaints from other homosexuals encountered during his travels of the discrimination that they suffer, Chang said

Some of the people he met had gotten into family quarrels after admitting their sexual orientation, Chang said, adding that some had even lost jobs.

Although they found new jobs, they are afraid to say that they are homosexuals at their new jobs, Chang said.

Chang said he hopes that by sharing his experiences he would bring some warmth to people, adding that he hopes his efforts would go toward making Taiwan a friendlier place.

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