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Taiwan Dubbed as Asia’s Most LGBTQ-Friendly Country

May 28, 2019 | CULTURE, ESCAPE, GOV, Taiwan

by MJ Toledo

LGBT Pride, Taipei City ©Taiwan Scenery Gallery

There is no country in Asia that shines brighter than Taiwan when it comes to inclusivity for the LBGTQ community. We enumerate what awaits people in this rainbow-colored destination. 

When it comes to backpacking destinations, Taiwan does not stand out when compared to the mountains Japan has to offer, the food Thailand boasts, and the temples Vietnam has. However, this nation home to around 23 million people shines as a hotspot for tourists because it welcomes LGBTQ members with open arms.

While Taiwan also has its fair share of awe-inspiring landscapes, clear blue waters, mouth-watering food, and bustling city life, its liberal society is worth noticing especially when compared to its conservative powerhouse neighbor, China. Dubbed as the friendliest country for LGBTQ in the continent, travelers and members of the marginalized group from all over the world are inspired to visit. Here’s a look at why Taiwan is an LBGTQ destination you need to experience for yourself.

Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

Taiwan filled front pages when its constitutional court decided that not allowing gay couples to marry is a violation of the people’s rights to equality. This ruling made way for it to become the first-ever Asian nation to permit same-sex marriage. Here, LGBTQ couples can not only hold hands; they can be united by the law.

“I think the legalization was a hard-won battle and I really, really feel for Taiwanese people,” said Kevin from Indonesia in an interview with South China Morning Post.

“Coming from Indonesia, especially, we know how hard the struggle must have been. So I am here to show solidarity,” Kevin added.  

Because of this, many couples from other nations have paid a visit to Taiwan to study, or even stay long term. The legalization of same-sex marriage has made the celebration of pride month more colorful and meaningful. This huge step forward has also paved the way for other Asian countries to discuss the ruling and apply it in their society.

Thrilling Gay Pride Celebration

Even when same-sex marriage hasn’t become legal yet, Taiwan is already a nation that is considered a mecca for LGBTQ members because it is home to one of the largest Pride Parade not just in the continent, but in the world. The event has come a long way since its birth in 2003 and has even gathered an attendance of close to 100,000 people in recent years.

Taiwan’s Pride Parade takes place for 4 days and culminates on the last Saturday of October. It is a must-experience among allies and members of the community since it is jam-packed with tons of parties and events. The parade is held outside the Presidential Palace in Ketagalan Boulevard and follows a two-hour route until it reaches the city center.

Bustling LGBTQ Scene

It turns out, being LGBTQ friendly is good for the business as well. Because Taiwan welcomes LBGTQ members, it just makes sense to have a wide array of clubs and nightlife establishments that cater to the community.

The bustling gay scene of Taiwan is mostly centered around the Red House, which is coincidentally a historical site. This octagonal building made of red brick is home to 25 LBGT bars, nightclubs, and restaurants and is perfect to visit if you are looking for fun, love life, or even a quiet meal.  

Not only that, there is also a huge number of films that represent the community. One of the directors that sparked this is Ang Lee, the same visionary behind Brokeback Mountain. There are also a wide selection of independent and mainstream films discussing the issues of the community.

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Raise Your Rainbow Flag in Taiwan

You might be wondering: what difference does it make that Taiwan is the most LGBTQ friendly country? 

It turns out, it plays a major role in the wellbeing of the community members. Here, gay couples can hold hands and kiss in public without fear of abuse or being judged. In a country where LGBTQ members can show themselves for what they truly are, their experience and quality of life becomes dramatically better. So what are you waiting for? Book a ticket to Taiwan and immerse yourself in its colorful scene.