So I ended up doing some photography this weekend. This year was the first pride parade since Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriange. While Taiwan’s been gay-friendly for some time, it was really incredible to see the number of queers, allies, and people-watchers out for a day of smiles, laughter, and dress-up.
Some were wearing kink, others nearly naked, but everyone was up for portraits. I’m still using the Mitakon 35mm f/0.95, so…Yeah. Lots and lots of portraits!
I was struggling on how best to show off what I took and I’ve decided I’d break it up into a Color and Monochrome section. I took hundreds of shots but these are my absolute favorites.
Funny, but I’ve never been a “pride” sort of guy. I’ve never been as comfortable with my sexuality as the people out there fearlessly showing their all. But the more I watch, the more I understand it. After decades of repression and centuries of oppression, it really does make sense to go all-out in the other direction. To celebrate freedoms that were non-existent for many cultures – not all, of course. But at least the precursors of modern cultures.
First came the trans pride march, which I almost missed. I heard a bunch of shouting outside my hotel and went to check it out and was pleasantly surprised to find people on the move!
Best of all, I got to connect with an Algerian photojournalist, Walid Berrazeg, who inspired me through several great conversations to keep trying to walk the pathless path towards becoming a freelance photojournalist.
A national celebrity to Taipei’s queer scene, Chi Chia-wei (祁家威), also made an appearance that night. Chia-wei is the first Taiwanese to come out as gay on national television, and has stood on the front lines for civil rights in Taiwan for decades.
The main parade started at City Hall and took over two hours to pass by. I chose a street corner with a bunch of other photographers and just strafed the crowd with my lens. I was too tired to walk with the group by the end of it, though now I wish I had.
Less than 30 years ago, Taiwan was a military dictatorship. To transition as far as they have in such a short span of time is truly incredible. Can’t tell you how much I love the Better China!