Licensed by InterPride and organized by one of its members, WorldPride is an international event that promotes visibility and awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues on a global scale. Cultural events such as human rights conferences and parades/marches make up WorldPride.
“The members of InterPride voted on the host of WorldPride in 2025 over four days during the 2021 General Meeting & World Conference. The two bidders for WorldPride 2025 were Capital Pride Alliance, Washington D.C., and Kaohsiung Pride, Kaohsiung City, in the region of Taiwan.”
Note the wording, “the region of Taiwan”.
“The WorldPride Taiwan Team 2025 would like to thank all before us who lit the way, to thank InterPride who built this wonderful organization and platform and thank our supporters who have bestowed this amazing opportunity for Taiwan and Asia. This is 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”, said Darien Chen, the official spokesperson for Kaohsiung Pride in the press release.
“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“, added Julian Sanjivan, Co-President of InterPride.
A bold choice
InterPride is making a bold choice. Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is de facto independent but not de iure.
Wikipedia says: “The political status of Taiwan is contentious.The ROC no longer represents China as a member of the United Nations, after UN members voted in 1971 to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) instead. Meanwhile, the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China and its territory, although this has been downplayed since its democratization in the 1990s.”
“Taiwan is claimed by the PRC, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the ROC. Taiwan maintains official diplomatic relations with 14 out of 193 UN member states and the Holy See, though many others maintain unofficial diplomatic ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates.”
International organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only on a non-state basis under various names. Domestically, the major political contention is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a pan-Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to formal international recognition and promoting a Taiwanese identity, although both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.”
In other words, Mainland China wants grip on Taiwan. While for some decades it was more rhetoric than actual threat, or at least that is how it seemed in Europe, the PRC has been more firm the past few years. Perhaps the PRC feels strengthened by the West’s lack of real response to its tightened grip on Hong Kong? There’s also the reality of Western economies being dependant on China’s industry.
In 2018, Beijing threatened airlines and the White House to call Taiwan a part of China. Airlines had no choice but to comply or to lose flying rights to Mainland China. This year, Beijing has been livid over Lithuania‘s support of Taiwan. Taipei itself has also gained confidence, which in turns makes Beijing unhappy, to say the least.
So, holding a WorldPride in Taiwan in 2025 is bold choice. Remember the press release named Taiwan a “region”? Not a “country”. So there must be some awareness.
But as the Federation of Gay Games is being pressured to take away the Gay Games from Hong Kong, InterPride may face the same pressures in the future.
LGBTQI in Taiwan
Homosexuality has never been a crime in Formosa, but social conservatism and the pressure to start a (heterosexual) family make being out gay not a self-evident fact. Especially in the Martial law era (1949–1987).
Same-sex marriage has been possible since 2019, but homosexual couples can not adopt. Transgender and intersex people still face many hurdles.