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This last Saturday, 80,000 people attended the 14th annual Taiwan Pride parade (with the theme “Fun together, Honor diversity”) as the country anticipates possibly becoming the first in Asia to legalize marriage equality.
The anticipation comes in part from the election of pro-marriage President Tsai Ing-Wen. Ing-Wen’s party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), introduced legislation earlier this month which would remove any mention of gender from the country’s marriage laws — the law could receive legislative approval as early as January 2017. About 75 percent of Taiwanese citizens support marriage equality.
To help build momentum for the marriage movement and raise awareness about sexual health, the gay social app Hornet donated $50,000 towards Mr. Gay Taiwan. (Disclosure: Hornet is the parent company of UnicornBooty.com).
Hornet teamed up with the Taiwan AIDS Foundation (TAF) — the largest HIV non-governmental organization in Taiwan — and together they had eight muscle-clad go-go boys and 40 volunteers work the parade route, giving away 5000 Red Ribbon condoms boxes as well as towels and fans to keep the crowd cool throughout the humid day.
Hornet also sponsored the Mr. Gay Taiwan competition, whose organizers and contestants all support marriage equality. After the parade, the go-go dancers worked the crowd before Mr. Gay Taiwan awarded its winner, Touya Xiao, an honorary sash. Xiao will go on to represent Taiwan at the 2017 Mr. Gay World competition.