In a display of unity and celebration, Taiwan’s 2023 Pride Parade brought together a staggering 180,000 individuals in Taipei last Saturday. Renowned as the largest Pride event in Asia, it continues to draw crowds from across the continent, with Asian tourists converging on Taipei to partake in the LGBT celebrations.

Taiwan, having made history as the first and only country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, stands as a beacon of hope and progress for the LGBTQ+ community. Its stance has not only inspired those within its borders but also across Asia, as thousands of tourists come to take part in Taiwan's PRIDE parade.

Beyond Taiwan’s borders, 2023 has seen stringent laws suppress LGBTQ+ rights in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, bans on rainbow watches were brought in during Pride month and Indonesia’s restriction on unmarried couples cohabiting have raised concerns about the broader struggle for equality in the region. Despite the progress made, these events remind us of the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance throughout Asia.

An Indonesian migrant worker, who now calls Taichung home, joins Taiwan LGBT+ Pride. They have never had the opportunity to attend a LGBT Parade in Indonesia where LGBT rights face ongoing challenges. In Taiwan, they have found a welcoming community that contrasts with the struggles faced in their home country.

These two vibrant souls from Singapore are captivated by Taiwan LGBT Pride, as they compare it to the smaller-scale event back home. Their multiple journeys to Taiwan symbolize the freedom they find in a larger celebration. One of them showcases what their LGBT+ celebration in Singapore is like on a phone.

This group of friends from Manila embraces the festivities of Taiwan LGBT Pride. 

This passionate group, from the non-profit Generation Now Asia is dedicated to empowering Southeast Asian youth, gathers outside Taipei City Hall ready to walk Taiwan LGBT+ Pride together. Their placards carry messages of love, and highlight the transitional same sex marriage work still to be done to support LGBT+ communities across the region. 

Capturing memories and connections: a group of people from Seoul, South Korea capturing their unforgettable experience at Taiwan LGBT+ Pride with a group selfie. 

A diverse crowd surges forward to join the parade as traffic control gives way. 

Nurtured by love, this moment features a loving family proudly declaring ‘I have two mommies.’ Their message of acceptance shows the power of love and diversity. 

Heritage and Pride, a person from Vietnam wears their traditional costume, showcasing the rich variety of cultural diversity at Taiwan LGBT Pride.

Two spirited individuals from Thailand spread positivity.

A group of smiling friends from Thailand, adding joyful decorations to the parade.

Two individuals of diverse backgrounds come together, holding hands to symbolize the unity of love. Their different skin colors serve as proof of the power of human connection.

Dedicated members of Thailand’s LGBT+ rights organization, ‘SWING’ march proudly at Taiwan LGBT+ Pride. Their presence strengthens the global call for equality and acceptance, as they join hands with allies from Thailand to create a better future. They also attended the Trans March the day before. It’s remarkable to see their transformation as they dress up and wear makeup.

Members of a Taiwanese organization ‘Taiwan Positively Association’ join the parade delivering the message ‘愛需要加你一位’ (Love Needs You). 

A group of people from different backgrounds alongside the individual in a wheelchair, enjoying the parade.

Amid the Trans March, a person in a wheelchair, along with members of an organization ‘Hand Angel’, which is committed to supporting disabled people in Taiwan. The image of individuals in wheelchairs occupying the road is evidence of the determination of the LGBT+ community to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and respected. 

Two exchange students from Tainan embark on a journey to Taipei, where they are shocked by the bustling and lively Trans March, an event they were previously unaware of. 

Spreading the message, A vibrant parade poster promoting the upcoming event in a street near Ximen during the Trans March with people passing by.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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