Taiwan draws nearly 180,000 in Asia's largest Pride march yet


An estimated 176,000 people attended this year’s Pride parade in Taiwan, marking the largest Pride march in Asia to date.

About the event: The parade, which was in its 21st year, began and ended in front of the Taipei City Government on Oct. 28, as per Taiwan News. With the theme “Stand with Diversity,” it celebrated individuality and promoted solidarity in Taiwan’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Aside from the march, the event featured a Rainbow Market with 120 booths, the most in its history, according to the Taipei Times. Drag performances and a “Color Diversity” coloring station also graced the event.

Record crowd: With approximately 176,000 attendees, Saturday’s parade was Asia’s biggest Pride march yet, DW noted. Last year, Taiwan Pride attracted 120,000 people.

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Pride marches in the Philippines and Thailand, regarded as more LGBT-friendly countries in Southeast Asia, also drew massive crowds this year. The former’s Quezon City welcomed around 110,000, while Bangkok saw 50,000.

A journey to progress: Representatives from seven Taiwanese political parties attended the event to show their support for the LGBT community. Vice President William Lai, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — who is also the frontrunner in next year’s presidential election — lauded his party’s role in advancing marriage equality in the self-governed island.

“Equal marriage is not the end — it's the starting point for diversity. I will stand steadfast on this path,” he told reporters, Reuters noted.

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Taiwan in 2019 became the first Asian territory to approve same-sex marriage. In January, it began to register same-sex marriages between Taiwanese and foreign nationals, and in May, it allowed same-sex couples to adopt children.

Further attention: Still, there is more work to be done, according to community members. The Taiwan Rainbow Civil Association, which organized the event, said gender issues are “still in need of continuous attention and advocacy.”

Vivian Mei, who works in the medical industry, criticized the lack of available assisted reproductive treatments (ART) — such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) — for same-sex couples under the law. “We're living in 2023 and lawmakers should make an amendment (to the law) ASAP,” she said, according to CNA.

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