Waving “Canada Pride” flags, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) joined over 80,000 marchers in Taipei’s fourteenth annual LGBTI Pride parade, the largest in all of Asia.
Taiwan is widely recognized as a leader in Asia on LGBTI rights, but a number of challenges remain – inspiring this year’s parade theme: “Having fun together: breaking through fake-friendliness, so we can be free together.” Marriage equality is a particular issue. With relevant legislation currently under discussion in the legislature, international media have recently speculated that Taiwan may soon be first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. The CTOT was proud to walk alongside the legislators, lawyers and activists who have been working tirelessly to make this a reality.
To demonstrate Canada’s support for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and around the world, CTOT staff also handed out small, handheld versions of the “Canada Pride” flag. These proved popular, and all 900 were quickly snapped up by marchers and attendees almost as soon as the parade began. It was a fitting symbol of the friendship between Canada and Taiwan, based on a foundation of shared values of democracy and human rights, including LGBTI rights.
Canada is committed to supporting Taiwanese efforts to advance LGBTI rights. In addition to joining the Pride parade for the second year in a row, the CTOT has hosted a screening of the Canadian documentary Jim Loves Jack: The James Egan Story and workshops, and is providing support for an upcoming queer studies conference for young scholars.