More than 50,000 people joined the annual Taiwan LGBT Pride parade in Taipei on October 29, 2011, marking the biggest gay pride parade in Asia.
The Taiwanese LGBT community has been struggling for decades to obtain equality and respect. Though there is less and less hostility in everyday life interaction, discrimination is still very much embedded in the education and legal system.
According to the event's official website:
Compared with the very direct, “in- your- face” hostility toward LGBT people a decade ago, the anti- LGBT groups nowadays have learnt to say words like “we respect LGBT people” and pretend to be liberal. In the meanwhile they never stop trying to deprive LGBT people of basic citizen rights. Furthermore, they even started to adopt unethical means to influence the legislators and policy makers, which might jeopardize our precious achievement of democratic development. Under this tough circumstance, Taiwan LGBT Pride Community urges the LGBT people to be more cautious about discrimination in the culture and society, and keep uncovering the well- camouflaged hostility in order to build a more solid foundation for our human rights.
First held in 2003 with about 500 participants, the event has quickly grown more popular with 25,000 people participating in 2009, and 30,000 in 2010. This year, the participant record has been broken again.
Under the theme “LGBT fight back! Discrimination get out!”, the parade started at Kaidagelan Boulevard in Taipei and separated into two routes before reconvening at the Kaidagelan Boulevard. Demonstrators demanded respect for the sexual orientation and preferences of youth, implementation of sex education, legalization of gay marriage, and also decriminalization of sex work.
Below are some photos from this year's parade taken by Coolloud.org.tw: