TAIPEI -- "Fellow gays, can you use your ability to change the weather?" urged a flamboyantly clad man sitting atop a parade float as Taipei's 20th annual Taiwan Pride march kicked off in front of the Taipei City Hall on Oct. 29. Gray clouds filled the sky and rain poured down. But the terrible weather did not stop some 120,000 people from crowding onto the streets of central Taipei, some sporting vivid costumes, elaborate makeup or even bare skin.
Taipei's pride march, the first to be held fully in person in three years due to the pandemic, and its rapturous music and huge public backing serve as colorful symbols of Taiwan's progressive modernity. The island democracy has come a long way since its maiden pride event in 2003.