Taiwan’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Pride Parade was yesterday afternoon. I was sick from an allergic reaction, but managed to make it to the rally at the end of the march. It was already 5PM (the parade started assembling at 1PM), but there were still a lot of people left. I missed the performances (including one by Mandopop star Fish Leong (梁靜茹)), but heard some rousing speeches and ran into some friends.
I felt that it was extremely important for me to lend my support in light of the anti-gay protest in Taipei last week, which was sponsored by Christians who should be ashamed to call themselves Christian. (You know what? I think that religion can be a wonderful conduit for a great deal of good, and it is a tragedy that misguided people use it instead as an excuse for their moral and intellectual shortcomings.) As an American (and a Californian), I also felt it was my duty to go in light of the passing of Prop. 8 last year, which shocked and disappointed everyone in my immediate family.
An estimated 25,000 people attended this year’s LGBT Pride Parade (which is the largest of its kind in Asia), up from 18,000 last year. This year’s theme was “Love Out Loud.” From the event’s wonderful and very moving mission statement:
We expect respectful treatment of all selves and others. We will keep communicating with all members of society despite our harsh situation. This is the time to conquer discrimination with power of love. Come in proud, and love out loud!