November 15, 2021

Taiwan to Host First WorldPride in East Asia: Why That’s Important

By Jason Bartlett

Taiwan continued to make international headlines last week — not because of growing tensions with China, but rather LGBTQ pride. Last Friday, the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan won the bid to host WorldPride in 2025, which will be the first and only WorldPride event to be hosted in East Asia. The Biden administration has expressed its support for the Taiwanese government by advocating for its participation in the United Nations and its right to protect itself against a theoretical Chinese invasion, but Washington should also incorporate its support of the Taiwanese LGBTQ community within its foreign policy on Taiwan.

Washington should encourage its allies in the region to view Taiwan as a model for equal human rights for all and not as an exception to the status quo.

Although not an easy win for human rights activists, Taiwan became the first jurisdiction in East Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019 and the island continues to show support for its LGBTQ citizens. Over the course of five days, more than 300 member organizations worldwide met virtually through the InterPride 2021 General Meeting & World Conference to choose between two locations for WorldPride for 2025: Kaohsiung City and Washington D.C. Kaohsiung Pride won the bid over the Capital Pride Alliance of Washington D.C., marking a major milestone in global pride. Darien Chen, the spokesperson for Kaohsiung Pride, issued a statement following the results declaring that “This is the beginning of a 4-year journey that we plan to ignite change in Asia, to promote InterPride’s mission, and to advance human rights in the world.”

While certainly a victory for all LGBTQ persons and their allies, neighboring Beijing and Seoul will likely maintain a reticent stance against supporting LGBTQ rights.

Read the full article from The Diplomat.

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