The 15th annual Taiwan Gay Pride Parade wrapped up last month in the island nation’s capital city of Taipei. Numbers were up by 50% with the parade drawing an estimated 123,000 people to the event that was already the largest of its kind in Asia.
But many believe the official crowd numbers were underestimated by the government to downplay how gay Taiwan really is. Some people say it was 150,000, some say it was 200,000. So many people turned up this year that there were three separate parade routes covering much of the center of the city.
More than 160 groups participated in this years parade including American, Japanese and South Korean groups. The three hour parade ended with speeches and performances by local celebrities showing their support for gay pride.
Taiwan Gay Pride is a 4 day event with the parade taking place on the last Saturday in October each year and is the highlight of the event. You will find lots of gay related stalls at the gay village which is close by the gay bars of the Red House gay entertainment complex. There are also numerous parties held over the pride weekend.
Over the years, gay pride has evolved from a political rally to a celebration of gay culture making it fun for everyone. This years slogan for the parade was “Make love, not war” and “Sex ed is the way to go!”.
VIDEO: Taipei Gay Pride Parade
The new promise of marriage equality in Taiwan helped bring out the especially strong attendance at this year’s parade. Earlier this year the country’s top court ruled that banning same sex marriage is unconstitutional. It gave the nation’s legislature two years to either amend its current marriage statutes or allow marriage equality to automatically become law in 2019.
The Premier of Taiwan has said that a same sex marriage bill will hopefully be filed by the end of the current legislative session.
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