COVID-19 has necessitated cancellation of pride events worldwide. Normally, Taiwan holds its pride parade in October (*) but due to cancellations elsewhere, there will purportedly be a pride event in Taipei on Sunday, June 28th. This is the first I’ve heard of it. It’s not mentioned in any local groups, so I’m not holding my breath or making concrete plans at the moment.
This year marks 50 years since the first Gay Pride march in Chicago 1970, and there should be a celebratory vibe everywhere in the world.
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing, Pride events across the world have been canceled or delayed, and we have lost the opportunity for a worldwide tribute to our heroes and to march globally for unity and pride.
However, all is not lost!
Taiwan is fortunate to have been one of the very few countries in the world that never needed a lockdown, and has not had a single local case in over 2 months.
To celebrate that fact and to honor our global gay family, in league with the Taiwan Gay Sport Association (TGSMA), they will host the world’s only Gay Pride during Pride Month 2020, on June 28th, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, at Liberty Square at the CKS Memorial Hall, with the theme of “Taiwan Pride March for the World!”
They will provide Pride Flags and signs on which you can write the place you are marching for, which could be where you grew up, a city you hold close to your heart, or where your loved ones are – it’s your march, and your choice!
They will also give away “Made in Taiwan” rainbow masks, to show support and raise awareness. Taiwan is ready to march for the world!
I’m sure people are asking “Why Sunday, not Saturday?” but there are two good reasons. First, Taiwan is UTC+8, so if this is broadcast worldwide, North and South America can watch on Saturday evening, Europe and Africa on tape delay Sunday. (**) Second, the local Canada Day events are set for June 27th (***). Thousands go out annually for this event, and the conflict would thin out both crowds. (****)
I plan to go and observe, not participate other than carrying a Black Trans Lives Matter sign. I’m not too enthused after the Los Angeles Pride’s recent betrayal of Black Lives Matter, and the complete absence of many. . .individuals from the local BLM event last Saturday. It didn’t surprise me which LGBTQIA weren’t there, given their words and actions in the past.
I don’t know how other LGBTQIA people feel, but I refuse to wear or carry the six colour rainbow flag. Most “pride” events mimic the worst of second wave feminism, too focused on cisgender able-bodied white people to the exclusion of anyone who isn’t. Black Lives Matter groups get it, and they are speaking up for and defending Black Transgender and Non-Binary people. Why can’t these mostly-white run groups and events?
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One thing I am enthused for that’s upcoming: The Taipei Scream Music Festival on July 4. Eight local bands will be performing over eight hours. Qori of All My Boyfriendz is a friend of mine. Skaraoke is the headlining act. Bunnlysium and The Flat Fives (not the US band of a similar name) are two other acts I want to see.
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(* Once again in 2020, the pride disorganizers idiotically scheduled it for October 31st, the same day as all the Hallowe’en parties. They can’t grasp that they’re splitting the crowds. Pride parties don’t rate compared to Hallowe’en parties.)
(** 2020! Taiwan finally gets to export culture internationally with baseball and parades, like Japan’s anime and South Korea’s hanliu culture.)
(*** Canada Day is another event that I go and observe, not participate, because of who runs it.)
(**** June 25-28 is a four day weekend. June 25th is Dragon Boat Festival, and a few races will go ahead because their location allows social distancing, while most are canceled. June 26th is not a holiday, but schools and businesses will be open on June 20th to make up for it. I always prefer makeup days before, it feels like you earned it. Makeup days after a holiday feel like you’re repaying a debt – with interest, because you’re working eleven out of twelve days in a row. Working the 20th means we work nine out of ten days, then get the holiday.