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19 Sep 2008

20,000 expected at Taipei gay pride, Sept 27

Into its sixth year of running, Taipei LGBT Pride Parade is making its impact felt in Asia with the largest turnout of 15,000 last year. Fridae's Taipei correspondent Jason Tan talks to the organisers of this year's parade and finds out if there would be any surprises awaiting the community.

"Let the diversity show its face" is the theme of this year's Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade, the largest march of its kind in Asia. This year, the parade aims to reach out to "LGBTS" - with the "S" referring to "straights" or heterosexuals.

The event last year attracted 15,000 people making it Asia's largest gay pride march. Taiwanese pop singer A-Mei, who was the ''Rainbow Ambassador'' last year, has donated a necklace to be auctioned online with proceeds going to the event. The auction ends Sept 20. See link below for more details.
"We hope to include the target participants this year to those who acknowledge the existence of LGBT," said Lu Xin-jie at Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, one of the organisers.

Also, bisexuals and transgenders are normally muted in Taiwan society, and therefore, the parade on next Saturday (Sept 27) will offer them a venue to garner support and walk chin up, she added.

The turnout this year is expected to hit 20,000, another milestone compared to last year's 15,000 people.

This will be a new record set compared to the first Taipei march in November 2003, where only 500 people showed up. Those who took to the streets the second year grew beyond 3,000.

The scale of the event and participant numbers have put Taipei LGBT Parade as one of the most significant in Asia, Ms Lu told Fridae.

But putting the annual event together does come with a hefty price.

There are 10 associations roped in this year, and they had to source for funding and donation themselves.

The total bill is expected to come up to NT$800,000 (US$25,000).

And this year, the challenge is to find a new "Rainbow Ambassador", a
LGBT-friendly celebrity who is willing to show face and vow support for the community.

Last year, Taiwanese pop singer A-Mei made headlines as she was the first ambassador, taking the stage to sing songs and lent support to the 15,000-strong crowd. She has donated a necklace to be auctioned online with proceeds going to the event. The auction ends Sept 20.

Organisers say they have approached Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam and Malaysian Fish Leong, but to no avail due to scheduling difficulties.

They are still making their eleventh-hour efforts with just a week to go, hoping to land someone at last as this will for sure be a boost to the parade's morale.

"With or without an ambassador this year, our parade will still go on with full force," Ms Lu said.

2008 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade "Run the Rainbow Way"
Date: Sept 27, 2008 (Saturday)
Time: 1pm, parade begins 2pm
Assembly location: Taipei City Hall Square
Route: Taipei City Hall Square → Ren Ai Road → An He Road → Zhong Xiao East Road → Yat Sen Road → Ren Ai Road → Taipei City Hall Square


Reader's Comments

1. 2008-09-20 19:25  
Taiwan can be this opne is really great. I love taiwan
2. 2008-09-20 22:06  
Good luck Taiwan ! All the best to you girls & Guys!
3. 2008-09-21 04:16  
wishing that Singapore can have her very own pride march too... :)

march on, Taiwan!
4. 2008-09-21 15:25  
I've miss the french parade. I won't miss this one. I'll be there! Will i be the only french guy?
5. 2008-09-21 18:15  
Taiwan is one of my favorite places and gay paradise. Wish you the best success!!! mottala!!!!
6. 2008-09-21 19:37  
Hello Fridae readers :-)

Wish rainbow success on 2008 Taiwan Pride !!

Before arriving Taipei, please read tips in English :-)
Tips Taiwan @ Utopia-asia.com

G-rush 2007

Water Boys 2007

Dancers 2007

This year only my soul fly from Tokyo.
Looking forward to see videos & news !!

7. 2008-09-21 20:06  
I am also Jason Tan....hehehehehehehe
8. 2008-09-21 21:53  
go for it
9. 2008-09-21 23:54  
I wish I can go..................
10. 2008-09-22 12:25  
Seriously, get me there!!!!
11. 2008-09-22 19:11  
12. 2008-09-22 23:01  
Best wishes for the parade to be a great success and Taiwan be the most gracious place for LGBTS people to stay in Asia.
13. 2008-09-26 22:21  
Good luck, people. Keep it clean. Avoid propagating the idea that gay people are a bunch of depraved sex maniacs out to corrupt society at large. We have already suffered enough because of that image.
14. 2008-09-27 19:26  
Thank you (Arigato) for walkers in Taiwan !!

Rain is the tears of LGTBs in the history,
now and then .. wish less tears in the future.

I enjoyed brave & beautiful photos
of the 2008 Taiwan Pride.

My soul is with you :-)
Hugs & Kisses


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