Written by Ting-Fai Yu. Unquestionably, the global visibilities of Taiwan’s recent human rights achievements, such as the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2019, must have contributed to the voting members’ confidence in having WorldPride held there. However, while Taiwan’s LGBT development has served as an exemplar to which many non-Western countries, especially those in Asia, aspire, it is essential to note that progressive legal changes are not necessarily representative of how queerness is lived culturally.
Written by Elliott Y.N. Cheung. “Queerness is that thing that lets us feel that this world is not enough, that indeed something is missing,” says José Esteban Muñoz. So, if these resisting narratives defy the regulation of an all-encompassing narrative and seek to entice viewers to recognise what is not yet there — might we call them queer? Moreover, if a country that not only enables such views but can actively and constructively engage with them, struggling to hold them in all their difference — might we also call it queer?
Written by Daniel Yo-Ling. In 2021, the Taiwan Asexual Group conducted a Taiwan Asexual Community Survey to increase asexual visibility and provide a resource for aspec (an abbreviation for asexual/aromantic spectrum) people in Taiwan. The 2021 Taiwan Asexual Community Survey consisted of 70 questions covering basic demographics, gender identity, sexual and romantic orientation, sexual behaviour and attitudes, ideal living situation, and views on legal initiatives. It received a total of 397 valid responses, making it the largest dedicated dataset on Taiwan’s asexual community to date.
Written by Yu Dung Shiu. Once, I spoke with a man who looked like a bear; he was shocked that I called a man sitting about two meters away from a “bear.” That man was bigger than anyone else in the café and was eating a lot of food (a large size dinner box, two loaves of bread and a whole bunch of grapes) for his dinner. “I think you’re too naïve to recognise who is a bear and who is …it may be harsh but…a pig,” said the bear-man smoking with me. So, I asked him if he could teach me how to recognise who is a bear and who’s not.
Written by Yen-Ting Kuo, Translated by George Bobyk. Just as most homosexual people do not take coming out to heterosexual people lightly, many bisexual people feel afraid to come out to either heterosexual or homosexual people for the above reasons. Today, due to the lack of “bisexual groups” in Taiwan, for many bisexual people, the only way to survive in gay circles and avoid stigma and discrimination is to hide their true identity and chose to identify as gay instead.
Written by Geng-Hui Lin. Compared to HIV risk, which is assessed through responses to a CDC survey, age is a relatively inflexible criterion for MSM’s who want to obtain PrEP through Taiwan’s PrEP program. There are ways to be categorised as an elevated risk for HIV infection depending on your answers to the CDC’s HIV risk assessment. As a result of these criteria, although some MSM’s over thirty-five have been enrolled in the program, access and availability remain mostly limited to those under this age. This leaves older MSM’s as outsiders to the program, unable to enter.
Written by JhuCin Rita Jhang. There are major legal rights not covered by the Act for Implementation of J. Y. Interpretation No. 748. First, it does not allow same-sex couples to co-adopt a child unrelated to either parent by blood. Once a same-sex couple gets married, they lose the right to adopt whatsoever, and they would have to obtain a divorce to be able to adopt as a single person. Even if someone adopts first as a single and then gets married to a same-sex person, the spouse still cannot cross-adopt this child. This bizarre and counterintuitive legal conundrum sends many same-sex couples wishing to co-adopt on a long, winding legal fight. Even though one married same-sex couple had won the lawsuit and became the first-ever same-sex couple to co-adopt a genetically unrelated child in January 2022, this was ruled on a case-by-case basis.
Written by Phan Van Tim. It has been nearly three years since the Legislative Yuan passed the same-sex marriage bill in 2019, making Taiwan the first and only nation to do so in Asia. So far, over 5,000 same-sex couples have registered for marriage in Taiwan, fulfiling their love of being protected by law. At the same time, the public’s view on the LGBTQ+ community has rapidly changed, with more than 60% of people expressing support for same-sex marriage, compared with the percentage of only 37.4 before same-sex marriage legalization.
Written by Daniel Yo-Ling. The historic ruling in favour of plaintiff Xiao E found existing legal gender change regulations to be unconstitutional. Assuming that this ruling does not get appealed, Xiao E will be able to change her legal gender and become Taiwan’s first transgender woman to do so without submitting proof of surgery. TAPCPR’s press conference featured commentary on the decision from representatives of the Taiwan Adolescent Association on Sexualities, Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, Taiwan Non-binary Queer Sluts, and Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association, as well as a written statement from Xiao E herself and comments by other transgender community members.
Written Caterina Di Via. In 2018, the Gender Equality Committee, a branch of the Taiwanese government, announced that there would be a third gender option for identification alongside the planned new electronic identity documents (such as eID cards, passports and other national identification documents) in late 2020. While males and females are categorised as ‘1’ and ‘2,’ the third gender option would be represented by the number ‘7’.
Written by Yi Wang. Significant progress and landmark rulings in advancing LGBTQ+ rights have been made across Asia in recent years, though many challenges and obstacles remain. Asians are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the UK, but Asian LGBTQ+ communities are not widely represented. Film reflects society and a medium capable of raising awareness amongst audiences in a direct and accessible way. Queer representation in the media is strongly linked to the wider public’s views on LGBTQ+ communities. I founded Queer East to amplify the voices of under-represented queer Asian and diasporic communities.
Written by Yu-lien Cheng. 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. However, the long process of fighting for marriage equality was not without objections inside the LGBTQ+ social movement. In the 2014 Taiwan Nine-in-One Election, there was a new party called “Poor Queer Political Equality Party” (貧窮同志參政團， PQPEP ) whose main goal is improving the life quality of precarious gay people. The appearance of PQPEP highlighted a paradox: there were already many precarious gay people searching for help, but in the past twenty years, there has been hardly any LGBTQ+ NGO in Taiwan that stated “class” or “precarity” as its main focus.