First Pride Parade in Taiwan

Let homosexuals be visible.

Event description

After the lifting of martial law in Taiwan, as society became increasingly liberal and open, the advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights also gained momentum. In 1998, the "Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association'' was established, and in 2000, the first “Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, Taipei” was held at the Xinyi Vieshow Square in Taipei in the form of a carnival, along with the publication of the "Understanding LGBTQ Handbook."

At that time, the Taipei City Government's Department of Civil Affairs provided a subsidy of one million, and Mayor Ma Ying-jeou attended the event. However, later, city councilors such as Wang Shih-chien and Lee Ching-yuen criticized the Taipei City Government, stating that public funds should not be used to support the LGBTQ+ movement, sparking controversy.

On November 1, 2003, during the fourth “Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, Taipei,” Taiwan LGBTQ+ Hotline Association organized the first "Taipei LGBT Pride Parade," which was also the first LGBTQ+ parade in the Sinophone region. The theme of the parade was "Let homosexuals be visible" starting at 228 Park (formerly called New Park, a historical location for early gay gatherings and cruising) and marching to the "Red House'' in Ximending (the 80s "Red House Theater" was a venue for private meetings of gay men). Although the parade route focused on historical meeting places for gay men, the demands of the parade were based on the overall rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Approximately 800 people participated in the parade, which lasted only about three hours but marked a significant breakthrough in Taiwan's LGBTQ+ movement. Participants openly and confidently gathered in the streets, declaring to Taiwanese society, "We are LGBTQ+," and expressing their love loudly. The organizers had prepared many white masks, considering that participants might have concerns about coming out, but the majority did not wear them. According to Taipei Times reporter Vico Lee's estimate, only about 20% of the participants wore masks or face coverings that day. While onlookers might not necessarily endorse the cause, many still held a positive attitude towards the parade.


Due to the first Taipei Pride Parade being part of the “Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, Taipei'' with a subsidy from the Taipei City Government, there were external voices of criticism. Therefore, in the following year, LGBTQ+ advocacy groups such as the Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline, BDSM Club, Gingin Store, Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan, Teachers’ Alliance formed the "Taiwan LGBTQ+ Pride Parade Alliance." From the second year onwards, the parade began to be independently organized, and the number of participants grew to 5,000 people. Since then, the Taiwan Pride Parade has become one of the most significant annual events in Taiwan's LGBTQ+ movement (except for 2021, when it was held online due to Covid-19), with the number of participants reaching at least 100,000 in recent years.

Participating Organizations

Reference books