Taiwan Pride Festival 2005
Tomorrow will be the third Taiwan Pride Parade to be held in Taiwan. As a Taiwanese, i'm extremely proud that Taiwan has finally been able to hold its own parade in recent yrs indicating Taiwanese gays/lesbians increased political awareness and strength and also increased societal tolerance. Apparently, even legislators will attend the parade and the Taipei Mayor has attended in past yrs as well showing their support for the parade thus indicating that they are confident that Taipei residents are open enough such that politicians attending such parades do not feel that by attending, they are risking in any way their political viability...
Interesting note to those not familiar with Chinese or those from Mainland China and some other places, the word 同志 TongZhi is used to refer to Gays in Taiwan and Hong Kong although its original meaning meant comrade. In Mainland China, TongZhi continues to refer to comrade and most Mainland Chinese will only think of it that way. However, TongZhi as Gay has spread amongst the gay population in China as well so now the meaning Tongzhi as Gay is used in Taiwan, HK and amongst the gay population in China...further the word 同 is used often now in gay advertisements as it means sameness and again the meaning has been changed to refer to homosexuals as gays/lesbians like the same sex....learners of Chinese are still taught that Tongzhi means comrade and so may be confused when they see it used when referring to gays so this is just a little note for them...
Also another interesting note is that on the Taiwan Pride 2005 website, they are very thoughtful and have provided some sample excuses for people to use just in case they need to provide explanations because they were exposed by the media covering the parade and came on TV news...I will provide them with translations:
全世界好多地方都有，那真的很好玩耶！平常要看還要去國外，這次在台灣，你沒去看真是太可惜了！ (There are so many Pride Parades all over the world, it was really fun! Normally you would have to go overseas to get this experience but this time it was in Taiwan, what a pity you didn't go!)
喔，我只是路過而已 (Oh,...I was just passing by.)
沒啦，我的高中同學是同性戀，他說他自己一個人去會害怕，叫我陪他去 (Oh, its nothing, my highschool friend is gay and he/she said that he/she was afraid to go alone and asked me to accompany so i did)
都已經什麼年代了還這麼保守，同性戀也沒什麼不好阿，去看看又不會被吃掉。 (Its already the 21st century, don't be so conservative,there is nothing wrong with being gay anyway, you won;t get eaten up just taking a look right?)
(Using these techniques and putting on a natural expression, people will naturally no longer suspect that you are gay)
I was laughing when i saw these excuses cos they are so hilarious and really useful too..i guess many gays and lesbians are afraid of participating precisely cos they are afraid their faces will be on TV and in Taiwan, almost everyone watches TV News (cos the News in Taiwan is extremely interesting)and so exposure to parents and relatives could be high....