Loving out loud and proud

Tiger with rainbow flag at LGBT Pride Parade in Taipei

A beautiful sunny day greeted participants in the LGBT Pride Parade in Taipei today. Organisers estimated 25,000 people participated in the parade, an increase from 18,000 last year.

Rainbow balloons - Taipei LGBT Pride

The theme for this year’s parade was “Love Out Loud”. Participants marched in groups matching the colors of the rainbow. Red for sex, orange for power, yellow for hope, green for nature, blue for liberty and purple for art.Some of the groups participating included “Do the left thing”, the Green Party, Gay & Lesbian Couples Association and many university groups.

This year’s event called on the government to take action on anti-discrimination legislation. Politicians often make promises about gay rights before elections, but never follow through once they are elected.

Water boys at the LGBT Pride Parade in Taipei

The parade started from Ketagalan Boulevard wound through the streets in the area south of Taipei Station. This men in this photo are the “Water Boys” (水男孩).

LGBT Pride Halloween

Although today was Halloween there were only a few people in Halloween themed costumes.

Rock in Hose Burlesque

The parade returned to its starting point on Ketagalan Boulevard. There was a performance by Rock in Hose Burlesque. Their performance included a message about safe sex.

Only a week earlier an anti-gay protest organised by Christian groups had taken place in Taipei. The LGBT Pride event, with its much bigger turnout, affirmed that Taiwanese are increasingly tolerant and accepting of diversity. Hopefully this will lead to more concrete measures to legislate for gay marriage and other rights in the near future.

*More photos in the 2009 LGBT Pride Parade set at flickr. Also check out the photos from the official LGBT Pride volunteer photographers.

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