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WorldPride 2025 to be Hosted in Taiwan

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday November 21, 2021
Originally published on November 16, 2021

Taiwan will host WorldPride in 2025, the first time the global celebration will occur in East Asia. The event will happen in Kaohsiung City, in the southern part of the island nation.

InterPride announced that the LGBTQ+ group Kaohsiung Pride had won the honor of hosting the event in four years' time, with InterPride selecting their bid over that of Capital City Pride in Washington, D.C.

"With this monumental vote by InterPride members, a WorldPride will be held in East Asia for the first time," InterPride announced in a press release. "The members of InterPride voted on the host of WorldPride in 2025 over four days during the 2021 General Meeting & World Conference," a four-day event that was conducted virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Bringing WorldPride to this region for the first time will create a significant impact to the much-needed visibility and awareness of human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community there while providing the ability for millions more to participate from surrounding countries and territories including China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia," noted InterPride Co-president Julian Sanjivan.

Capital Pride extended its congratulations to Kaohsiung Pride, but promised that it would work toward its own celebrations in the nation's capital "to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Pride in Washington D.C. in June 2025."

The event brings tourism and, with it, the potential for financial benefits worth millions. But there are significant cultural and political ramifications, as well.

Online news source The Diplomat hailed the choice and pointed to it as a reason for which "Washington should encourage its allies in the region to view Taiwan as a model for equal human rights for all and not as an exception to the status quo.

"Although not an easy win for human rights activists, Taiwan became the first jurisdiction in East Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019, and the island continues to show support for its LGBTQ citizens," The Diplomat added, contrasting Taiwan's progressive attitude with that of Japan (in which some districts have "been issuing 'partnership' certificates to same-sex couples since 2015) and the retrogressive stances of China and South Korea.

LGBTQ Nation noted that LGBTQ+ rights in Taiwan are a mixed bag, with restrictions on adoption by same-sex couples and denial of reproductive health services to non-heterosexuals. Moreover, a blood ban prevents donations from openly gay men unless they have been celibate for five years. Furthermore, LGBTQ Nation noted, while LGB people can serve in the military, transgender people may not.

Kaohsiung Pride spokesperson Darien Chen said in a statement that InterPride choosing Kaohsiung as the site of the biannual event for 2025 marks "the beginning of a 4-year journey that we plan to ignite change in Asia, to promote InterPride's mission, and to advance human rights in the world."

Text at the InterPride website notes that WorldPride "promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on an international level." The festivities include "parades/marches, festivals, and other cultural activities such as a human rights conference," the website's text went on to say.

The next WorldPride will take place in Sydney, Australia in 2023. The 17-day event is slated to include a Mardi Gras Parade, Pride March, human rights conference, beach party, concert, and more.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.