Under the theme of “Turn on the Light, March for Trans Rights,” the event was held and successfully concluded on Friday night, October 28, in Ximending.
On Friday night, October 28, the day before Taiwan LGBT+ Pride Parade, Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association held the fourth annual Trans March at Taipei’s Ximending Red House Square. In collaboration with Taipei Rainbow Festival and TAIWANNIZE, the event brought together shoppers at Red Square and the marchers, resulting in more awareness of the plight of the transgender community.
Around half-past six at night, a crowd of 3,000 strong began gathering at the meet-up location. At this year’s march, 3,000 people walked down the streets of Ximending, despite the rain. This symbolized transgender people’s lonesome journey in dark times, waiting for a friendly light. Going forward, we hope to see more people join the march, pay attention to the plight of transgender individuals and become supportive allies. Together, we will brighten the night sky and bring transgender rights into the spotlight.
Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, the organizer, emphasized that while transgender issues have gained more traction in recent years, Taiwanese society is still plagued by the gender binary framework and institutional designs in many ways. As such, transgender community’s existence and needs are often overlooked. Many transgender individuals face difficulty in daily life, workplace and medical encounters. However, they often have no choice but to suffer in silence, dealing with the emotional torment and pain alone.
Prior to the march, the organizer posted a national list of transgender medical resources on its official website, which makes the information more accessible to transgender individuals, reduces the impediment to healthcare services, as well as increases the visibility and use of such friendly resources. In addition, the organizer has begun conducting the 2022 Taiwanese transgender community’s life situation survey, via its official Facebook page. The survey aims to better understand the current circumstances faced by the transgender community. The survey result will also be used to develop demands and policies, facilitate understanding between the general public and the transgender community, as well as be an open source for anyone who may need it.
To kick off the march, transgender model Suan6 showed their most confident self on the stage. Their performance was followed by speeches from individuals across the trans/gender spectrum: Freya, who has no current plans to seek out medical intervention; bao, who has undergone gender-reassignment surgery and legally changed his sex; Dylan, who identifies as non-binary; and FeiFain, who is a professional drag queen. By sharing their experiences, these individuals showed the diversity in the transgender community, as well as the difficulties they face in daily life. Then the parents of transgender activist, Deven, shared the emotional journey of how they came to terms of their transgender child’s identity, and how they took action to protect him.
As the marching crowd returned to the stage area, Attorney Pan Tien-ching, Executive Director of The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR), spoke as a longtime trans ally. He called out the myriad of injustices transgender individuals face, and he hopes to protect transgender people’s rights through the legal system. Diva TeaTime, from Taiwan GDi Association, encouraged the crowd with her fabulous look and lived experience. Jackie, from Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association Southern Office, articulated the hardships of running a transgender group in southern Taiwan. A group of Filipino migrant workers told the crowd, while work kept many of their friends from attending the event in person, they have long been keen on transgender rights in Taiwan, and they will continue to show up for the trans community. For the finale, YouTuber Little Love brought her lively dance music to end the event on a high note. She also left the crowd with this uplifting message: This society may still be unfriendly toward transgender people, but with hard work, we can surely change the world, one step at a time.