(Taiwan Pride, 3/5)
With my camera at hand and Taiwan Pride slowly moving along Ren’ai Road and it’s side roads, I was quickly captured by all the ornament and attire around me. “Colorful” was the thème du jour, of course, joy its temper, becoming alive in rainbows, mermaids and -men, flags, capes, mantles, masks, and superheroes.
While probably still quite tame compared to some of the Western Cristopher Street Days, I enjoyed the gaiety and positivity, the celebration of bodies – often well-trained, but celebrated just as much if not.
It was wonderful to see especially the gay community embracing their physicality like this, expressing an openness in comparison to which the heterosexual community feels dull, overly self-conscious, and uptight. Writing this down, I wonder about this a bit. There is an element of weird comparison and contest among straight men (and probably women, too) that I don’t experience towards gay men. Maybe it has to do with the fact that a gay man’s perfect body could in theory be something for me to enjoy as well, whereas a straight man’s is never anything but competition in a deeply ingrained and often unconscious status game.
But where there is light there also is shadow. I am thus all the more happy for everyone here embracing their sexuality like this given how much many have gone through or are still going through. In Taiwan, many queer people still hesitate to come out towards colleagues and especially bosses. Many certainly had their experiences of exclusion, bullying, or even discrimination. The tattoo of one of the mermen made this clear: “Life isn’t fair, get used to it.”