One of the biggest gay parades in the world (and probably the largest in Asia), Taiwan Pride 2017 (aka. Taipei Pride 2017) attracted more than 118,000 LGBTQ people and allies.
The politics of Taiwan Pride 2017
This year’s theme was “Make Love, Not War: Sex Education is the way to go,” and emphasized the younger generation’s right to learn about sex diversity and, thus, their own sexual and gender identity. Activists stressed the importance of this not just happening within schools, but also stressed the responsibility of family and the whole of society to help educate people as well.
In addition to the theme, Taipei Pride 2017 also celebrated the great progress same-sex marriage legalization made in Taiwan this year. It’s very possible that Taiwan will be the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
A court decision earlier this year gave the Taiwanese legislature two years to implement marriage equality nationwide — the deadline for implementation will occur near June 2019. Some local LGBTQ activists have demanded that the government implement the changes immediately, seeing no reason to delay equality any longer.
This year’s parade featured throngs of marchers in sequins, costumes and brightly colored clothing; vans blasting music and a handful of representatives from foreign governments.
The parade also had three routes. Hornet joined the orange line in the Westward route, with six go-go boys and two drag queens on their float. Hornet’s two founders, Christof Wittig and Sean Howell, and underwear designer Andrew Christian also walked with the big crowd. Locals and foreigners alike dressed to impress, and couples and friends held hands to express their love and who they truly are.
Though Taiwan still faces many challenges along the road to achieving full equality, the parade has at least caught public attention and helped raise awareness.