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Boys at Taiwan high school wear skirts for one week to break gender stereotypes

Action comes less than a week before same-sex marriage vote at Legislative Yuan

Banqiao Senior High School students mark their school's anniversary by wearing skirts.

Banqiao Senior High School students mark their school's anniversary by wearing skirts. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Male students at the New Taipei Municipal Banqiao Senior High School (板橋高中) marked the 73rd anniversary of their school Saturday (May 11) with a week-long activity during which they wore skirts to break gender stereotypes and underline the personal freedom of choice.

Even President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), addressing students at another school, commented on the event with the question “Don’t the Scots wear skirts too?”

At the garden party Saturday, male students wore skirts, earrings, and T-shirts in favor of marriage equality, the Central News Agency reported. The Legislative Yuan is expected to vote on three different proposals for and against the introduction of same-sex marriage on May 17, a week before a deadline set by the Constitutional Court two years before.

Three male students walked around the high school grounds Saturday dressed in the blue school uniform shirts but in combination with dark blue skirts, telling reporters that at least 10 of their classmates were also taking part in the event, which started on May 6.

School alumni returning from university to take part in the anniversary celebrations also expressed support for the action, saying students should “be themselves” and not necessarily try to correspond to other people’s wishes.

Other alumni, musicians, teachers, software engineers and legislative aides also wore skirts at a sympathy demonstration outside the New Taipei City Government Building, also in the Banqiao District, CNA reported.

They also expressed support for the principal of Banqiao Senior High, who had reportedly faced hostile questioning from politicians about the skirts event.