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Taiwan Pride

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File:Taiwan Pride 2005 On Zhongxiao East Road.jpg

Taiwan Pride is the annual gay pride parade in Taiwan, The parade was first held in 2003. Although joined by groups from all over the country, the primary location has always been the city of Taipei. The most recent parade, held in October 2007, attracted between 10,000 and 15,000 participants, making it the largest gay pride event in Asia.[1]

Comparison with other pride paradesEdit

File:Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association on Taiwan Pride 2005.JPG

Taiwan Pride differs in many ways from gay pride parades held in the USA and Europe.

The parade foundation is one example. Western parades often show a divergence between social movements and "commercialization". Some pride parades are financed by corporations targeting gay customers, and sometimes the parade even becomes an advertising venue for the corporations.[citation needed] In some communities the conflict is so great that one parade even separates into two.[citation needed] Taiwan Pride is still primarily a social movement, with little advertisement — there are even complaints that local gay-targeting corporations give too little support to the parade.

Taiwan Pride also differs in the type of parade. A Western parade usually takes control of the main road, blocking bystanders on the sidewalk. Taiwan Pride must share the road with cars, bikes and bystanders, and is subject to regular traffic control. While it is inconvenient and sometimes dangerous for participants, sharing the road without clear separation also blurs the distinction between participants and bystanders, providing a gray zone of participation.

Before 2003Edit

File:BDSM Company on Taiwan Pride 2005.jpg

There were several small pride parades before the first formal Taiwan Pride parade in 2003. For example, 300 gays identified themselves in the 1996 parade of The National Women's Coalition. In 2002, some gays publicly protested at the Ministry of National Defence against the practice of forbidding gays from military police service.

2003Edit

File:Women Coalition of HKSAR on Taiwan Pride 2005.jpg

The first Taiwan Pride parade was held on November 1, 2003. It was the first one in the Chinese community, and encouraged the gay community in Hong Kong to hold its own parade. Many people in Taiwan didn't notice the parade at all, but almost all electronic and paper media reported the parade.

The parade was held in Taipei, starting from 228 Memorial Park, a long-time gathering place for gay men in Taipei, and going along Hengyang Road to Red Playhouse in Ximending. The parade was joined by more than 20,000 people from dozens of groups, including Waterboys, NCU Center for the Study of Sexualities, Gin Gin's, and the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association. As part of the government-sponsored Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, the parade received 70,000 TWD from the city government. Mayor Ma Ying-jeou gave a speech at the end of the parade, saying that Taipei as an international city should respect individuals of different groups and cultures. He also said that major cities in the world all have large gay communities. The existence and respect of such communities is important to the diversity of a city. After the speech, there was a LGBT karaoke contest.

After the parade, city council member Wang Shih-cheng criticized city government for "encouraging homosexuality" and "obscenity". Many gay groups were upset by the comments and refused funding from the government the next year.

2004: Awaken Citizen ConsciousEdit

File:Water Boy on Taiwan Pride 2005.jpg

The second Taiwan Pride parade was held on November 6, 2004, again in Taipei. This parade started at 1 p.m. at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, marched along Kaitakelan Blvd, through 228 Memorial Park, Chungshan Hall, and ended at the Red Playhouse in Ximending.

The parade used "Awaken Citizen Conscious" as its primary slogan, along with "Citizen with Exceptions‧City with Colors‧Society with Varieties‧Politics with Participation". Featuring participants other than homosexuals, such as bisexuals, transgendered people, the BDSM Company representing BDSMers, and Collective Of Sex Workers And Supporters representing sex workers. Harmony Home Association also participated.

The parade date was close to the legislator election, and many candidates showed up to get publicity.

2005: Be Together!Edit

File:AIDS quilt before city hall on Taiwan Pride 2005.jpg

The third Taiwan Pride parade featured the union of homosexuals, sex workers, pornographic content authors and alternative sex practitioners, against "waves of repression" such as the "Law on Classification for Published Materials and Video Programs". The parade was hosted by an ad hoc organization and the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association. BDSM Company also took lots of works.

There were forecasts of a possible typhoon landfall on the day of the parade (October 1), but it was a sunny day. The parade started at 1 p.m. at the Eslite bookstore on Tun Hua S. Road, marched along Zhongxiao E. Road Sec. 4, and ended at City Hall at 5 p.m. At the end of the parade, Women Coalition of HKSAR thanked Taiwan Pride for encouraging the Hong Kong parade in 2004, and gave a banner to Taiwan Pride, which was represented by Wang Ping from Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan. The artist Topper also gave cross-dressing performances.

SponsorshipEdit

Many commercial organizations sponsored the parade, including Eslite bookstore, the Fridae gay dating website, and PRI.V"ee.

ParticipantsEdit

File:HKSAR give banner to Taiwan Pride 2005.jpg

Many Taiwanese people still wish to stay in the closet, and thus participate the parade with masks or walk with the parade from a distance. They often worry about disclosure.

There are also often worries that the parade will be misunderstood by the media and public, thus damaging the social image of ordinary gay men, and reinforcing stereotypes of "exaggerated style" or "being sissy". Others often criticize this position, arguing that people should participate more to create the images they want.

NotesEdit

  1. Thousands take part in Taipei gay pride parade, Taipei Times, 14 October 2007

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


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