Written by Annie Huang. One historical human rights progress Taiwan made happened in 2019 when the government legalised same-sex marriage. It was a rainy morning, and hundreds of LGBTI groups and activists were standing outside the Legislative Yuan waiting for results. When the president of the Legislative Yuan announced the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the rain stopped, and a rainbow appeared in the sky. People hugged and wept with joy for this historical first in Asia. However, at the same time and in the same plaza, a group of Taiwanese same-sex people burst into tears not because of happiness but because of sadness and discrimination. Transnational same-sex couples are left out of the legalisation content in the same-sex marriage bill without much reasonable reason.
An Unlimited Future: How Do We Get There?
Written by JhuCin Rita Jhang. The year 2022 marked the 20th anniversary of the pride parade in Taiwan. It is a feat worth celebrating, and its theme, “An Unlimited Future,” adumbrates directions we are, or ought to be, heading toward.
The host of the pride parade, Taiwan Rainbow Civil Action Association, explained, “this year’s theme, An Unlimited Future, heralds our long-term goal—to liberate all oppressions against sex and all stereotypes, allowing endless possibilities for everyone’s identity. The ultimate goal is that one day, no one needs to announce their identity in any way but can be anyone they want without judgment.” However, to arrive at the future depicted in this statement, we need first to understand what were, are, and may remain the limits, who put these limits and on whom, what are the consequences of the limits, and more importantly, the results of removal of these limits.
With What Difficulty Indigenous LGBTQ Groups Struggles in Taiwan
Written by Remaljiz Mavaliv. Translated by Yi-Yu Lai. Taiwan is a beautiful country with diverse cultures, the Indigenous peoples of which are often viewed as significant worldwide highlights. Currently, sixteenth Indigenous groups are officially recognised in Taiwan. However, this does not protect them from discrimination and unfair resource distribution. After successive colonial regimes arrived in Taiwan one after another, colonialism and imperialism profoundly influenced the Indigenous population, and the political repercussions have persisted to the present day.
Chemsex, digital writing, and changes in sexual practice in 21st century Taiwan
Written by Poyao Huang. Almost parallel to the development of Taiwan’s LGBTQ+ history is a chapter on gay men’s lived experiences with drugs—a taboo chapter that many tend to ignore. In Taiwan, it is reported that young drug users are the most vulnerable population affected by HIV/AIDS and drug abuse as we see increasing numbers of young people getting involved with drugs and HIV. Drug use among bisexual and gay men is often understood in the illegal vs recreational debate. In other circumstances, the issue of drug use is associated with health concerns (HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases), thus becoming a moral threat to social well-being.
“I’m on PrEP, hbu?” – The Meaning and Influence of PrEP among Taiwanese Gay Community
Written by Yu-Chuan “Daniel” Lin. Although PrEP medication solves the HIV epidemic, research has found an inadequate number of MSM receiving it. For example, a 2015 U.S. CDC report has indicated that at least one of four gay men should be taking PrEP daily to effectively avoid more extensive HIV transmission, requiring the participation of roughly 1,200,000 MSM nationwide. However, its data showed that no more than 50,000 MSM are doing so, which translates into a poor execution rate (around 3%) of the government’s PrEP project designated to combat the HIV epidemic.
Worldpride 2025 and Taiwan’s Place in Global Queer Politics
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.
‘Queer’ Film and Representation at the Taiwanese Box Office: A Post-2019 Post-COVID Sinophone Dialogue
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?
Asexuality and LGBTQ+ Activism in Taiwan
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.
Taiwanese Gay Bear Culture in a Grizzly Area of Taipei
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.
Sexual Minorities Excluded by other Sexual Minorities: Bisexuality in Taiwan
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.
Breaking Down the Wall: Generational Gaps, Generational Prejudice and HIV Treatment in Taiwan
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.
Almost-Marriage Equality in Taiwan
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.