There are a few reasons why I have always enjoyed spending my October in Taipei each year. From the Double Ten National Day celebration to the Pride Parade, October in Taipei is always so festive and full of pride, the positive kind. While Double Ten has always been a significant day in Taiwan, its ever evolving LGBTQ Pride events are the real gems that make the island nation standout internationally in recent years. From the iconic Pride Parade, which boasts to be the biggest in Asia, to the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, we are truly blessed to be able to enjoy the freedom of advancing LGBTQ rights, which many around the world may never get.
Into its 14th year, the Pride Parade has long been the rare occasion where the LGBTQ community can publicly celebrate their identities and be recognized. Despite the slight drizzle throughout the afternoon on October 29th, the crowd’s determination of joining the parade didn’t seem to be diminished. According to media reports, more than 80,000 people from around the world took part in the 14th edition of Taiwan LGBTQ Pride. Rainbow flags of all sizes and banners bearing pro-LGBTQ and marriage equality slogans could be seen throughout the parade. This year also saw quite a few foreign missions take part in the parade, as AIT, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all recognizing Taiwan’s efforts to advance LGBTQ rights.
Apart from the growing number of participants, there was also a bit more optimism in the air this time around. Perhaps the fact that marriage equality might finally be within Taiwanese LGBTQ individuals reach energized them and resulted in the record-breaking turnout. Not only did six legislators introduced amendments to Civil Code’s article 972, but the executive branch of the new government also showed their commitment to support marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. For the first time in 14 years, Taipei City Government raised a rainbow flag on top of its building to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community.
With all the momentum behind the LGBTQ community, it is hard not to be optimistic about the prospect of Taiwan’s LGBTQ rights movement. Taiwan has shown the world that respect and support for LGBTQ rights are not exclusively a western thing. After all, love is all the same no matter where you are, and that is what Taiwan has proved to the world in the past 14 years. As the country of 23 million people expects to welcome marriage equality with open arms, there is no doubt that what it has achieved deserves to be recognized and celebrated.