Taipei, The theme of this year’s LGBT Pride parade in Taipei, one of the largest in East Asia, will be “Beauty, My Own Way” to celebrate people being true to themselves rather than conforming to society’s gender expectations, the organizers said Monday.
The parade, which saw 200,000 people march through the streets of downtown Taipei in flamboyant costumes last year, will be held on Oct. 31 and start and end at Taipei City Hall Square, the Taiwan Rainbow Civil Action Association (TWRCAA) said.
At a press conference Monday, Fletcher Hong (小鯨), one of TWRCAA’s directors, said the theme of the parade was chosen so that members of the LGBTIQA+ community would not just be seen and acknowledged but also understood and respected.
“We don’t want people to judge other people by using a certain individual or societal standard. This includes one’s body size and physical appearance,” Hong said.
The parade also aims to affirm everyone’s right to live the way they want to live, Hong said.
TWRCAA Chairperson Shao Li-yi (邵立宜) said the theme is timely because even though Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage over a year ago, society as a whole still needs to make progress on gender issues and awareness.
Shao was referring to a recent rally earlier this month by several civic groups that protested outside the Ministry of Education over a gay-themed children’s book that the government has provided to schools as part of an extracurricular reading program.
The book “King & King” by Dutch authors Stern Nijland and Linda De Haan tells the story of a young prince who faces pressure from his mother to marry a princess but eventually falls in love with a prince and weds him.
“We can tell from the incident that gender equality education in our daily lives or in schools is still attacked or on the receiving end of unfair treatment,” Shao said.
Meanwhile, participation in this year’s parade may be down from years past because COVID-19 travel restrictions will make it hard for overseas groups and individuals to take part, Hong told CNA, but foreign representative offices in Taipei will still be invited.
The Bureau Francais de Taipei (French Office in Taipei) said it plans to attend as it has in previous years along with other like-minded offices.
In addition to the parade, a “Rainbow Market” will be set up at Taipei City Hall Square from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., while Taiwanese singer-songwriter Anpu (安溥) will act as an ambassador, lending her support to promote the event.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel