A cocktail of churches, gays, lesbians, political candidates and queers of all fashion politely swarmed the streets of Taipei city in late October for Taiwan’s 10th Annual Pride Parade. 65,000 people–the largest pride event in Asia’s history–gathered to colorfully advocate for marriage equality. In an environment with 75% of citizen support according to the National Union of Taiwan Women’s Association Constitutional Reform Alliance, organizers appropriately titled this years event “I Do, Do I?”
Since 2002, Taipei has held pride events unique amongst our Western conterparts; rather than hailing commercial sponsorships and shutting down main thoroughfares, events in Taipei are purely grassroots–featuring citizen-run organizing committees and road sharing with traffic and bystanders. This is in no small part due to a state-sponsored LGTB civil rights movement, which even donated 70,000 TWD to the hosts of the parade.
While the much of the Western world is busy glorifying Absolut and undies, Pride in Taipei has accomplished an extraordinary feat: cultivating a primary focus on building and fortifying multi-community support to further their social equality, and maybe throwing a big gay party or 10 in the process. Because hey, who doesn’t need to unwind a bit after queering the paradigm a bit towards equality and acceptance?