Love Note #14: Getting Off to a Loving Start

Dear Taipei,

After slacking off for more than a month, I think it’s about time to get my 2017 off to a fresh start by showing more commitment to this blog. While it’s usually hard to own up to your own laziness, I have to admit that I’ve never stopped feeling guilty about being unproductive for so long. As the ancient Chinese saying goes, after days without reading, one can look ugly and unpleasant. I think the same goes for writing in my case. So here I am, determined to get this blog off to a “loving” start in 2017. 🙂

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The last two months of 2016 saw the city host several large scale events, from the rallies supporting and opposing marriage equality to the annual Christmas celebration. Taipei has not been this vibrant, busy and festive in a long time. While the rallies surrounding marriage equality are a mixture of hatred and love, the city never truly let the temporary hatred linger too long in the air. Once the “haters” of marriage equality were done ridiculing themselves in public, love always finds its way back into this amazing city. Time and time again, Taipei shows that it’s a city with tremendous tolerance for different voices, and that love will always have a place in this city.

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That is perfectly demonstrated again at the pro-marriage equality rally on 12/26, the day when the Taiwanese legislature passed the landmark draft bill for marriage equality through its committee. Comparing to the often rude and unreasonable behaviors displayed by its opponents, the supporting camp showed its class, patience and sanity throughout the decisive morning. Tension could definitely be felt in the air, since the outcome would determine whether the movement could make its first step forward or went back to the drawing board. When the committee chair, legislator Mei-Nu Yu, announced that the bill had officially passed the committee, the crowd finally broke out into happy cheers. But still, there was not a single bit of hatred towards its opponent as the crowd made its way out of the gathering site. With countless rainbow flags waving in the air, love again overcomes hatred in Taipei.

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With the first step being made at the end of 2016, the marriage equality movement can expect a more optimistic start to the new year, before the bill officially enter its toughest part in the process, meaning the multi-party negotiation. With still a lot to achieve before the draft bill finally becomes part of the constitution, Taipei will continue to be the battleground between supporting and opposing, love and hatred, and reason and frenzy. However, we shall remain hopeful that Taipei will remain the shining beacon of love that it has always been. 🙂

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William Yang

 

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