Taiwan to host LGBT+ Pride parade despite coronavirus pandemic, making it the largest queer gathering in 2020
As the coronavirus rages on elsewhere, Taiwan is set to go ahead with its LGBT+ Pride parade in what organisers believe will likely be the largest queer event held in 2020.
Now in its 18th year, the country’s Pride parade will see the streets of Taipei heave with the colours of the rainbow on 31 October.
Every last Saturday in October, the capital hosts the largest annual Pride parade in Asia. It normally welcomes an estimated 80,000 people each year, but organisers are expecting a lesser turnout due to the pandemic, according to Taiwan News.
While the coronavirus has made large gatherings unthinkable in many countries, Taiwan has almost remained impervious. The self-governing island has vastly contained its caseloads, enabling processions such as an LGBT+ Pride parade to go ahead with only minor restrictions.
As a result, organisers explained that they believe Taiwan LGBT+ Pride will likely be the largest queer gathering of any kind held this year after many Pride events were cancelled or digitalised.
But they nevertheless stressed for Pride-goers to maintain social distancing as well as wear face masks when in attendance.
The procession will set out from the Taipei City Hall Plaza in the afternoon. Participants can choose to take the “north” or “south” routes, which goes through Zhongxiao East Road and Xinyi Road, before returning to the original point.
The theme of the parade will be “Beauty, My Own Way”, organiser Fletcher Hong said.
Hong said that people should “understand and respect each individual’s own identity”, speaking of how society should not force standards of beauty onto others.
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In June, Taiwan hosted a Pride parade in Taipei on behalf of the more than 500 Pride events that were cancelled or postponed around the world.
LGBT+ rights activist and honorary chairman of the Taiwan Gay Sports and Development Association, Chyi Jia-Wei told CNA at the time: “I’m marching for New York because that’s the origin of the Stonewall uprising.
“I attended the parade there last year, but this year it has been cancelled.
“As June is pride month for the international LGBT+ community and so many cities cannot hold events, the parade in Taiwan is especially meaningful because it signifies our solidarity.”