We’re excited for the Gay Games, the 10-day worldwide sporting event that happens next month. But the Taiwanese delegation may be a little less excited. After being told they could march under their country’s name and carry the Taiwan flag, China has been accused of pressuring the Gay Games organizers to make Taiwan compete as “Chinese Taipei.”
China and Taiwan have long been at odds over their national identity. Mainland China insists that Taiwan is Chinese territory, rather than its own sovereign nation. Given China’s power on the world stage, it usually forces international events to credit Taiwan as either “Chinese Taipei” or “Taiwan (China).”
But the Gay Games looked like it was going to be different. The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) gave the Taiwan delegation the go-ahead to compete as Taiwan and carry the Taiwan flag. But recently, the French government contacted the FGG to “express concerns” about the plan to wave the Taiwan flag.
Yang Chih-chun, president of the Taiwan Gay Sports and Gay Development Movement Association, said “Our logical conclusion is that China protested to the French government, or otherwise this would not have happened.” Yang added “We hope the FGG can resist pressure.”
The Taiwanese delegation said they were prepared to fight for the right to fly the Taiwan flag. Taiwanese activists like Chi Chia-wei, who is also the leader of the Gay Games delegation, are confident the fight over the Gay Games will help press the issue of which name Taiwan gets to compete under at international events.
He said, “Homosexuals will bravely take care of whatever the government won’t!”
The Taiwan team is still raising funds to make it to the Gay Games — they’re still approximately $65,000 short of their fundraising goal. It’s hoped that the Taiwan Sports Administration and other businesses will be able to make up the shortfall. The athletes are scheduled to head to France on Aug. 2.
The Gay Games 2018 are being held in Paris. Aug. 4 is opening day, and the closing ceremonies will be Aug. 12. The Taiwan team’s slogan is “Taiwan comes out!”
Should the Taiwan flag be flown at the Gay Games?
Featured image by Chiang Ying-ying via AP