Taipei yesterday played host to one of the few Pride marches around the world on Sunday as the nation’s LGTB+ community and their supporters gathered at Liberty Square for a small march.
An afternoon shower delayed the start of the “Taiwan Pride Parade for the World” for an hour, but music helped maintain the enthusiasm of the estimated 1,200 participants as they waited.
When the rain halted, participants marched from in front of the Liberty Square archway to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and back.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE
Many of those attending held placards with the names of major cities around the world that have been unable to celebrate Pride Month this month because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or the values they were marching for.
“I’m marching for New York, because that’s the origin of the Stonewall uprising. I attended the parade there last year, but this year it has been canceled,” Chi Chia-wei (祁家威), a pioneering gay rights advocate in Taiwan, told the Central News Agency.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first pride marches in the US, which were held a year after the Stonewall uprising in New York City.
“I’m here to march for France,” Cookie, a French drag queen who has been living in Taiwan for the past six years told Agence France-Presse. “Since the rest of the world cannot march or even go out, we have the opportunity to march for the rest of the world.”
Taiwan’s annual Pride march is held in late October, but many in the nation’s LGTB+ community felt it was important do something this month when so many others around the world could not.
“Knowing that over 475 pride events around the world have been canceled broke my heart,” said event organizer Darien Chen (陳宏昌), a consultant at the Taiwan Gay Sports and Taiwan Gay Development Movement Association. “I feel it is an honor and a responsibility for Taiwan to be commemorating this very important occasion.”
Other participants said the event was a testament both to Taiwan’s ability to contain the pandemic and its commitment to rights for people of all sexual orientations.
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