With this year’s pride month in full swing — a month that pays homage to the Stonewall riots in 1969 — it appears that the Asian LGBTQ community has a lot to be proud of.
Namely, Taiwan has paved the way to become the first country in Asia to legitimize same-sex marriage (ahem, Australia).
And while there is a long way to go in terms of fighting the lack of rights same-sex couples experience in the region, this landmark victory could potentially pave the way for such oppressive traditions to be questioned, if not abolished.
In that vein, a celebration is in order. And what better way to celebrate then to take part in Pride Month that’s spreading rainbow cheer throughout Asia this June.
Here is a list of the top five Pride Month festivals, taking place throughout the Asia-Pacific, that, I’m sure, will satiate your human-rights-glitter-delights aspirations.
The events listed coincide with global Pride Month, and do not include notable events taking place throughout Asia during the remainder of the year.
After a long struggle to get the festival up and running, Shanghai Pride is now the longest-standing celebration of China’s LGBTQ community.
Spanning over March, through to June, Shanghai Pride exhibits prominent LGBTQ artwork and photography, along with cinematography and theater.
The event is also spiked with rainbow-inspired events such as the Pride Run, and the Pink Brunch with all proceeds going towards LGBTQ-related charities.
Metro Manila Pride
Full of festival and fanfare is the Metro Manila Pride event. Taking place on the 24th of June, it unites Philippines’ proud LGBTQ community, their friends and families, in a colorful 9 hours of activities, performances and a march of unity.
This year’s Pride March and Festival is a historic one, as it is the first time the event is held in Marikina – an area that is known for its support for the LGBTQ community.
The theme is #HereTogether, symbolizing unity throughout all the factions of Filipino society.
Korean Queer Culture Festival
Once among the largest LGBTQ celebrations in Asia, the Korean Queer Culture Festival was — after years of experiencing abuse by the hands of anti-LGTBQ protestors — banned in 2015.
However, event organizers fought to have their ban on outdoor rallying uplifted, and have pledged to gather at Seoul Plaza on the 28th of June for a street march to fight for equal civil, and human, rights, for the much-shunted LGBTQ community in Korea.
Celebrating diversity among Australia’s LGBTQ community is Sydney Pride – a month-long festival full of parties, disco, drag, theater, exhibitions and the occasional exhibitionism!
As a city that boasts a well-honed culture of celebrating diversity, Sydney is also home to the largest night time outdoor LGBTQ parade, Sydney Mardi Gras, which takes place in February/March.
However, despite progressive reform to create a more inclusive society, the state, along with the country, still remains divided on the marriage equality issue.
Quick LGBT Pit Stop Parties
If attending festivals doesn’t really float your boat, Asia boasts a myriad of Pride Month parties to satiate your diversity-related celebrations, the quick way.
Starting from the Babylon Foam Party in Bangkok, to the LGBTQ Pride Month Party in Shanghai, this list is sure to keep you on the pulse of Pride Month’s lucrative party scene.