I don’t know if it’s common knowledge, but I had no idea before I participated myself that Taipei boasts the title of Asia’s -BIGGEST- Pride Parade. What a wonderful feat to claim as a city!
As soon as I heard about the Pride Parade on October 31st I was tremendously excited to see how it’s celebrated over here. (Note: 2016’s Parade is on Saturday October 29. Head to the official FB Page for more info). Being from Sydney, a city considered one of the “gay capitals” of the world, my experience of a Pride Parade involves flashy floats, drag queens, choreographed dancing and, well, you name it is it is at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Unless you’re on a float or in the parade yourself, you line up along the parade path and watch.
So I must admit I was a really surprised when I turned up and a) saw not a single float in sight and b) found out there were no spectators because everyone walks. Taipei style I guess!
As my wonderful friend Tash, who is also from Sydney, was visiting me, I thought it was best to join one of the many groups organising a visit to the event. I’m so glad I went with Like It Formosa, a group that kindly organises free tours for foreigners around Taipei out of the goodness of their heart.
How lovely! For this event the guide was so informative and told us a lot about the history of the parade, the status of gay rights here and other interesting information about gay culture.
Now to the actual parade. It was absolutely brilliant- not only to see the brave people who dressed in outrageous and daring outfits, but to feel the atmosphere of love and acceptance which permeated throughout. Everyone was in such high spirits and there was a real buzz around.
I hope you’ll excuse me for sounding soppy, but I thought that it was really beautiful that despite walking beside strangers, it felt like we were all bound by a common drive and goal.
I’m sure everyone in attendance felt it was incredibly heartwarming to see thousands of people show their support for gay rights that day. Whilst relative to other Asian countries, Taiwanese society is considered very liberal in terms of homosexuality, the fact remains that homosexual marriage is still illegal, and the status of gay people is still not on par with their straight counterparts. Sadly, the same situation exists in Australia, so we also have a long way to go to right this injustice.
I really try to believe that despite all the homophobia which is shamefully still prevalent throughout the world, as a whole the world is becoming more accepting. It’s especially hopeful to see the younger generations take to the cause.
I hope within my lifetime to see a world where loving a man loving a man or a woman loving a woman is just what it is- love. And people can freely express their sexuality in whatever form they self identify as, without our society or our laws impinging on the rights and freedoms every man and woman should enjoy.
So here’s to love.
Interested in attending the 2016 Pride Parade? Find out all the info on the FB Event Page
Want to attend the Pride Parade After Party? Triangle is throwing a huge one. Check it out here.