Taiwan participates in global organizations like the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei”, to avoid political problems with China, which regards the self-governing democratic island as its own territory and bristles at anything that suggests it’s is a separate country.
The city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan was set to host WorldPride 2025 Taiwan, after winning the right from global LGBTQ rights group InterPride.
Last year, after an outcry in Taiwan, he dropped the reference to the island as a “region”.
But Kaohsiung organizers said InterPride recently “suddenly” asked them to change the name of the event to “Kaohsiung”, removing the word “Taiwan”.
“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it may harm the interests of Taiwan and the Taiwanese gay community. Therefore, it is decided to terminate the project before signing the contract,” said Kaohsiung organizers.
InterPride said in a statement they were “surprised to hear” the news and although they were disappointed they respected the decision.
“We were confident that a compromise could have been found with respect to WorldPride’s longstanding tradition of using the name of the host city. We suggested using the name ‘WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan,'” said he added.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the event would have been the first WorldPride event to be held in East Asia.
“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed consensus and severed a relationship of cooperation and trust, leading to this outcome,” he said.
“Not only does the decision disrespect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, it also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and goes against the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”
Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, a first in Asia, and prides itself on its reputation as a bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism.
Although same-sex relationships are not illegal in China, same-sex marriage is, and the government has cracked down on depictions of LGBTQ people in the media and the community’s use of social media.