The organizers of WorldPride 2025 have canceled the Kaohsiung event because its licensing group, InterPride, demanded that it remove “Taiwan” from the event’s name, they said in a statement yesterday.
Kaohsiung was to host WorldPride Taiwan 2025 after being granted the right by the global LGBTQ advocacy group.
However, the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee said that InterPride recently gave “abrupt notice” asking it to change the name of the event and use “Kaohsiung” instead of “Taiwan,” even though it applied for the event using “Taiwan” in its name.
Photo from the Taiwan WorldPride 2025 Facebook page
The name was initially chosen for its significance to the Taiwanese LGBTQ community, as local annual pride celebrations since 2003 have used “Taiwan” in their names rather than the name of the respective host city, the committee said.
It was also chosen to connect several pride events across Taiwan, as many cities other than Kaohsiung were to participate in the event, it added.
Negotiations were also convened in November last year over a separate naming controversy, after InterPride listed Taiwan as a “region” in its hosting announcement.
During the meeting organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the three sides agreed to use the name “WorldPride Taiwan 2025.”
However, the naming issue was only the “final straw” following a number of other issues that emerged during the negogations, the committee said.
“There were major discrepancies between our stances on the event’s naming, understandings of Taiwan’s culture and expectations of what a WorldPride event should look like,” the committee said.
InterPride repeatedly raised concerns about Taiwan’s ability to hold an international event, “despite our team consisting of highly competent pride organizers who have successfully organized some of the largest pride events in Asia,” it said.
“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it may harm the interests of Taiwan and the Taiwan gay community,” it said. “Therefore, it was decided to terminate the project before signing the contract.”
InterPride did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ministry said it would have been the first WorldPride event in East Asia.
“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, has unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed upon consensus, and broken a relationship of cooperation and trust, leading to this outcome,” it said. “Not only does the decision disrespect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, it also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and runs counter to the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”
Additional reporting by Reuters
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