The 18th annual Taiwan LGBT Pride parade took place in the streets of Taipei yesterday afternoon, showcasing the diversity of Taiwanese society and urging the public to understand, accept and respect people with different identities and sexual desires.
As the parade “reached adulthood” and turned 18 this year, the theme was “to support and help others fulfill their cherished dreams (成人之美),” a Chinese proverb which can also be understood as “adulthood beauty.”
The Taiwan Rainbow Civil Action Association, which organized the event, said it hopes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning and asexual communities would not only become more visible in society, but would be understood and respected by more people.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Before the parade officially started at Taipei City Hall Plaza at 2pm, thousands of people began flocking to the square since the morning. A Rainbow Market, consisting of almost 100 LGBT-friendly businesses and organizations that sold rainbow-themed merchandise and provided information on LGBT topics, was opened at 11:30am.
At 1pm, the square was packed with participants in a festive atmosphere, with rainbow-themed flags, banners, fans and outfits. Many participants wore masks in rainbow colors.
The organizers estimated that more than 130,000 people participated in the event.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Association chairperson Shao Li-yi (邵立宜), who is also the parade’s spokesperson, said that the theme was chosen to highlight that there are many forms of beauty and that it does not matter if a person is tall, short, overweight or slender, or has feminine or masculine personality traits, and that society should allow them to feel confident in their beauty and be respected by the society.
“The Taiwan LGBT Pride parade is not only a carnival. Although same-sex marriage was legalized in 2018, there are still many issues concerning equal rights of LGBT communities that need to be addressed,” parade convener Hsiao Ching (小鯨) said.
“If Taiwan prides itself on accepting diversity, nobody should feel sorry for being the person they are, and people should have the right to be comfortable in their own skin, no matter if they are at home or at work,” she said.
Marriage Equality Platform convener Jennifer Lu (呂欣潔) said that even after same-sex marriage was legalized, there are still many issues that need to be pushed, such as transnational same-sex marriage, as well as adoption by same-sex couples, elderly or adolescent LGBT issues.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taipei’s Pride parade might be the largest of its kind in the world this year, which is a collective achievement on the part of the public, she said, expressing hope that the parade’s message would be heard worldwide and raise global awareness about Taiwan’s achievements with regard to LGBT rights.
Members of many of the nation’s political parties attended the event, including members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Youth League, the Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, the Green Party Taiwan and the Taiwan People’s Party.
Twenty foreign representative offices in Taiwan, including those of several EU countries, the US and Canada, sent representatives to the event, Lu said.
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