TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With the 50th anniversary of the LGBT+ movement rolling around and nearly 500 major Pride month events worldwide canceled, postponed, or moved online as the pandemic rages, a small but enthusiastic crowd gathered in Taipei Sunday (June 28) — in doing so demonstrating another point of pride for the country that last year became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage: its success at containing the outbreak.
By 3:30 p.m., over 100 people had gathered outside Taipei's Liberty Square to take part in the event, titled Taiwan Pride Parade for the World (台灣驕傲月 為世界而行). These included Taiwanese and foreigners, both members of the LGBT+ community and allies.
The organizers pointed out that while millions of would-be revelers have been forced to stay home due to the coronavirus and related lockdown measures, Taiwan's nearly unparalleled success against the coronavirus has provided participants on the island a rare chance to speak out on behalf of those who "are still suffering from lock-downs and social distancing, or who cannot march for any reason."
Taiwan is approaching 80 days without a confirmed local infection. Meanwhile, it has counted just 447 cases and seven deaths.
In keeping with Taiwan's lauded successful pandemic prevention measure, attendees were asked to leave their names when they arrived. Stations had been set up where people could fill out blank posters with messages of their own, and rainbow-colored face masks were also handed out.
At approximately 4 p.m. a light drizzle suddenly turned torrential, prompting the prepared to raise their umbrellas and sending the less-prepared scattering for cover. This photo was snapped just minutes before the downpour, capturing prominent gay rights activist Chyi Jia-uei (祁家威) waving the LGBT+ banner in front of the capital's iconic National Concert Hall — a moment reflective of the relative calm provided by Taiwan's circumstances as the struggle for equality continues elsewhere against the backdrop of a deadly virus.