About / 2020
Friendly City, Happy Home
As the LGBTQIA+ community in Taiwan, we are lucky to have the Taipei LGBT Pride Parade, which is the largest Pride parade in Asia. This is a sign that Taiwan is a country with a vivid LGBTQIA+ culture and an accepting society. However, the LGBTQIA+ community does not only exist in Taipei; we have queer people all over Taiwan, as well as a different local context along with their specific issues, and they all deserve visibility.
Therefore, the members of the Taoyuan LGBTQIA+ community decided to expand the existing Rainbow Picnic into the first Taoyuan Pride, in the exact year when the same-sex marriage was just legalized. We show up, we come out, we celebrate proudly.
The Intersectionality of Taoyuan City
Taoyuan is a very colorful city. In terms of ethnicity, there are Minnan people, Hakka people, Mainlanders (Chinese immigrants that migrated to Taiwan right after WWII), indiginous people, newly immigrated residents and migrant workers, and they have all developed various types of settlements. In terms of gender issues, according to the Ministry of the Interior, it can be seen that after same-sex mariage was legalized in May 2019, there have already been 290 same-sex couples who have gotten married in Taoyuan. And there are gender-friendly spaces and organizations in Taoyuan. These facts indicate the lives of LGBTQIA+ people residing in the city. The diversity of ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations are what shape Taoyuan’s uniqueness
However, people rarely see the intersectionality of Taoyuan’s various groups. By looking at a gay Filipino woman’s writings, we can see that within Taoyuan’s group of migrant workers, LGBTQIA+ people also exist. Through the collective voice of Taiwan’s indigenous gay groups, we know that among the indiginous groups in Taoyuan, there will be people of different sexual orientations and gender expressions. The mixing of sexual identities, sexual orientations and ethnicities creates a complex situation that demands visibility.
We have high hopes that Taoyuan will become a friendly city that allows these various groups to prosper and coexist. In this type of open-minded city, LGBTQIA+ people can be accepted within each ethnic group and establish connections within their communities. They can comfortably walk down the street and settle down in peace.
Re-defining “Family” and “Home”
The concept of “family” is usually defined by your immediate blood relations and extended family, or it is defined as a small, heterosexual marriage-based family. As same-sex marriage was legalized in Taiwan last year, couples with the same legal sex are now allowed to get married. Hence, Taoyuan is honored to have more and more gay families that add to the abundance of family and “home.”
But in addition to traditional families, there are many other types of households that deserve attention, such as people who are partnered but not married, people who are single, people who move around often, housemates, and polyamorous families. As long as you are able to feel a sense of belonging and comfort in your home, then all household types are worth being supported.
We earnestly hope that Taoyuan will become a city where anybody can create any type of family and that that family can serve as a base to develop your life. Starting from a single point that turns into a bigger picture, this will ultimately create a more diverse and forgiving place.
We Are Here, We Are Queer
The LGBTQIA+ community is an inevitable part of Taoyuan, and these diverse genders and sexual orientations need a presence in order for people to acknowledge their existence.
Meanwhile, the city has already fostered many gender-friendly spaces, such as bookstores or cafes, and these many spaces are scattered across the city.
These spaces and the LGBTQIA+ people need connections in order to build up solidarity within the community. Therefore, we hope that by holding this Pride parade, picnic and market, we can begin to build a bridge to connect with each other. On that day, people can walk down the street, picnic on the grass and interact with gender-friendly community members. This in turn will allow us to co-create an inclusive, open space for all and eventually achieve a more welcoming, prosperous city.