Taiwan has been given the green light to host WorldPride 2025, a biennial festival that is expected to attract millions of international tourists, Kaohsiung Pride said Sunday.
Kaohsiung Pride won the bid against Washington, D.C. in the United States to host the international event, in a vote by members of InterPride, a coalition of LGBTQ Pride organizations from around the world, at its 2021 General Meeting and World Conference that began on Nov. 6.
"With this monumental vote by InterPride members, a WorldPride will be held in East Asia for the first time," InterPride said in a statement.
The WorldPride festival, licensed by InterPride and hosted by one of its members, is an event that features parades, concerts, and other cultural activities that promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues at an international level.
The 10-day WorldPride 2025 is expected to attract millions of tourists, potentially generating up to NT$1 billion (US$35.94 million) in economic benefits, Kaohsiung Pride said in a statement.
The festival will also boost Taiwan's regional leadership in the area of LGBTQIA+ rights, after it became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in May 2019, Kaohsiung Pride said.
"The WorldPride Taiwan Team 2025 would like to thank all before us who lit the way, to thank InterPride who built this wonderful organization and platform, and thank our supporters who have bestowed this amazing opportunity for Taiwan and Asia," said Darien Chen (???), founder of Taiwan WorldPride 2025.
Chen, who represented Taiwan at Mr. Gay World 2013, had also organized "Taiwan Pride Parade for the World" in June 2020 to show solidarity with countries that were unable to hold LGBTQ celebrations due restrictions on mass gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is the beginning of a 4-year journey that we plan to ignite change in Asia, to promote InterPride's mission, and to advance human rights in the world," Chen said in his comments on Taiwan winning the WorldPride 2025 bid.
The other contender, Capital Pride Alliance in Washington D.C., extended congratulations to the Kaohsiung organization.
"The Capital Pride Alliance congratulates Kaohsiung Pride on being awarded the opportunity to produce WorldPride 2025," said Ryan Bos, executive director of Capital Pride Alliance. "We extend to them our heartfelt best wishes for a successful event."
Meanwhile, Julian Sanjivan, co-president of InterPride, highlighted the significance of WorldPride being held in East Asia for the first time.
"Bringing WorldPride to this region for the first time will create a significant impact to the much-needed visibility and awareness of human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community there, while providing the ability for millions more to participate from surrounding countries and territories including China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia," Sanjivan said.
Over the years, the biennial WorldPride festival has been hosted by Rome, Jerusalem, London, Toronto, Madrid, New York City, and Copenhagen. In 2023, it will be held in Sydney, Australia.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel