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Taiwan Pride parade to go online this year

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Taiwan Pride 2020

Taiwan Pride parade to go online this year

Like the rest of the LGBTQ communities around the world, the Taiwan Pride parade will be held online this year for the first time because of COVID-19.

The Taiwan Rainbow Civil Action Association (TWRCAA) had made the announcement of shifting to an online event due to local outbreaks of the Delta variant.

Taiwan’s LGBTQ community were still able to hold a physical Pride parade last year despite of the pandemic with over 130,000 attending. In 2019, around 200,000 people attended the parade.

Taiwan Pride goes online for 2021

For this year’s parade, the theme will be “I (LOVE) Being Out” to mark the country’s new reality after they legalized same-sex marriage in 2019.

The organization said they will launch an interactive website providing an immersive “online parade” experience, complete with virtual parade routes.

It will also have four live-feed channels as the event’s “main stage” showing concerts and floats. Likewise, there will be videos of LGBTQ people telling their personal stories.

Other events include in-depth discussions of LGBTQ issues, celebrity shows, and chats with YouTubers and podcasters.

There will also be an online market with 100 vendors for those who want to buy event merchandise available at the event.

Taiwan Pride gets government support

Tsai Ya-ting, secretary-general of TWRCAA, said there will be a light show in honor of the event by Taipei City’s Department of Information and Tourism.

Tsai admitted that just the number of volunteers to help out in the event would violate crowd regulations set up by Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

There will be planned interactive explanations limited by COVID-19 guidelines, Tsai added. Attendees can also check into the event indicating which city or county in Taiwan they are coming from.

The events won’t be all online. There will also be photogenic displays and pop-up events to promote the parade. There will also be exhibits and activities in cities, though this will depend on pandemic, said the TWCRAA.

The LGBTQ community in Taiwan

Since becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, Taiwan has had more than 5,300 same-sex couples that have wedded as of January 2021.

Likewise, the pandemic has affected the LGBTQ movement in Taiwan less drastically because of the relatively open environment for LGBTQ activism.

However, the community is still seeing some challenges. Last July, Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je accused “gay groups” of being a “problem” in pandemic prevention efforts but didn’t support this accusation.

Jennifer Lu, a Director of the Taiwan Equality Campaign, responded to the mayor’s accusation saying that “being LGBTQ doesn’t cause infections, high-risk behavior does.”

The community also continues to face entrenched social conservatism, lingering prejudice, and lack of legal protections.

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