Tens of thousands join in LGBT Pride Parade in Taipei


TAIPEI–Tens of thousands of gay rights supporters on Saturday took to the streets in Taipei for the LGBT Pride Parade, the largest such event in Asia calling for an end to discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Sporting colorful costumes and cross-dressing, the participants at the 11th Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade showed their support by making a hand print on a large white banner, using six different colors that represent different human rights, including the right not to be bullied and the right to have diverse partnerships legalized.

More than 10 different musical and dance performances were given. And nearly 20 social movement organizations were introduced during the parade to share their ideas related to HIV, sexual minorities and civil partnerships.

“Ten years ago what we asked for was simply to be acknowledged; now we want to challenge the authority for real rights,” said Hu Hsiang, a college student who participated in the event for the fourth time.

Hu’s words reflected the theme this year: Make LGBT Visible 2.0.

The organizers said the parade was aimed at renewing the appeal of the first Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade, Make LGBT Visible.

It is hoped that with the notion of “2.0,” the public could revisit the issue more seriously as human rights have not improved for homosexual and bisexual people in the past decade, according to the Taiwan LGBT Pride Community.

The organization said it also wishes to raise awareness of the disadvantaged in society, and call for collaboration and mutual support among people in the community to resist the injustice.

The participation was similar to last year, when the parade attracted a record 65,000 people, according to the organizers.

About 4,000 foreign nationals took part in the event, a significant rise compared with some 3,000 last year, the organization said.

Among them was Jerry Jackson, a 60-year-old university professor from California, who said the vibe he experienced during the event reflected the universal call for equality.

“All we want is equality to be free, to be who we are, and to love who we choose,” he said.