One of my favorite things about Taiwan is that the culture is considerably open compared to its Asian counterparts. Having traveled to China before, one of the most censored countries in the world, I had always associated a more reserved culture with the Chinese language. After arriving in Taiwan, my association changed greatly. I think Taiwan is so unique because its an anomaly in a part of the world whose culture is generally more reserved, and controversial issues are not openly discussed. With that being said, Taiwan is the first Asian country to start working towards legislation to pass gay rights under the new leadership of Tsai Yingwen. Considering the United States just passed gay marriage last year, this is quite a significant development.
When I got to Taiwan, I was really interested learning about the LGBTQ, but particularly the gay and lesbian culture and legislation here. How well was it received? What the difference in perception between generations? Are parents accepting of their children if they come out? How outwardly open were those that identify as gay with their relationships?
Over the past few months I’ve slowly accumulated knowledge about the lesbian and gay culture from fellow Wenzao students and my host family. From what I have noticed, it seems that young people receive gay and lesbian peers really well. I have yet to find a young person that is not accepting. I also recognize that I am on a college campus, and college campuses anywhere in the world are generally more liberal. From what it seems/ I’ve heard, young people are pretty comfortable going out with their partner in public. However, not everyone has a family that is accepting of their sexuality. While some young people come out to their parents, there’s a good portion of gay people that only make it public among their friends. The generation of middle-aged parents is split, but there are more that are unaccepting of gay children than those who are accepting.
When I asked for my host sister’s input, she said many of her friends were gay and it was not big deal at her college campus, National Taiwan University. She also said that many students are open about their sexuality in high school too, as she attended an all girls high school and a sizable portion of the girls were lesbian. Last month, Taipei held its annual Pride parade, and my host sister attended for her first time with her friends. This weekend Kaohsiung is hosting its seventh Pride parade, and I’m looking forward to checking it out!
在台灣，我最喜歡的部分是台灣的文化很開放。台灣比別的亞洲的國家開放。 因為我以前去過中國，這個國家有很多審查，所以提到中華文化，我就會聯想到保守的文化。來到台灣以後，我的想法改變了。 我覺得台灣非常特別，因為除了台灣以外，其他亞洲國家一般都比較保守， 你不可以討論爭議性的議題。在蔡英文的任期， 台灣是第一個亞洲國家開始討論可能通過同性戀結婚的法律。 去年夏天美國剛剛通過同性戀結婚的法律，所以台灣的進步很棒。
我來到台灣的時候， 我對同性戀文化有興趣。 台灣人接受同性戀者嗎？ 不同的世代有一樣的看法嗎？ 父母有同性戀孩子的話，他們接受孩子嗎？ 父母跟孩子的關係會改變嗎？ 同性戀者在公共場所的時候， 他們自不自在？
在這三個月，我的接待家庭跟文藻同學都教我越來越多關於台灣的同性戀文化。我發現好像大部分年輕人接受同性戀者同學， 這很正常。 我還沒發現有年輕人不接受同性戀者。我在大學唸書，校園一般比較開放。 我聽說很多年輕同性戀情侶在公共場所的時候，他們很自在，不擔心其他人的感覺。可是，每個同性戀者的家人不一樣。 有些同性戀者告訴他們的家人他們的性向， 但是多數人只有告訴他們的朋友。在父母的世代，有一些父母接受同性戀孩子， 有一些不接受同性戀孩子，接受者比不接受者少。
我問我的接待姊姊她的看法的時候， 她說她有很多同性戀朋友， 在她的大學， 台灣大學，很正常。 她也說在高中，很多學生想法很開放，接受不同的性向。 她的高中只有女生，所以有些女生是同性戀。 上個月，台北舉辦同志大遊行。那次是我姊姊第一次跟朋友去參加同志大遊行。這個週末，高雄要舉辦這個城市的第七個同志大遊行， 我希望我可以去看一看！