[Your / My Vision of the Rally] Senior Fellowship Activist - Lai Cheng-Chieh

It is not too much to call Lai Zhengzhe (hereinafter referred to as Zhe) a senior member of the LGBT movement. In the early days, when society still shunned "gay" identity, Zhe started to run a bookstore specializing in the gay community and devoted himself to the LGBT movement. When asked about the social atmosphere before the first Gay Pride Rally (2003) and how the accumulated energy of the movement at that time led to the first rally, he, like the "Gay Pride Dictionary", depicts the era of the social movement when the Internet had not yet been developed and when all kinds of organizations and activities were thriving:

At that time, the atmosphere was very different from today's. The Internet was not yet so developed; to put it simply, the movement first began to speak out in the 1990s with the establishment of the magazine "Between Us", and then, after the baptism of the 1990s, the Gay and Lesbian Counseling Hotline and the Tongguang Church were established, and a lot of organizations were slowly formed and operated, and then we all gathered together and thought, "There are bookstores and bars now, what other possibilities do we have? What other possibilities were there? It just so happened that the public sector had some funding at that time, and at that time, there were already LGBT rallies in metropolitan areas around the world, but none had been held in Taiwan yet."

Chieh thought that the march was very meaningful at that time because it was the first time for the government to organize a rally."A public event, or a chance to 'show up', is an opportunity for gays and lesbians to show up collectively in the public sphere, so that society will realize that there is really such a community."

In the process of organizing rallies over the years, Chieh felt that the fifth rally (2007) could be considered as a turning point. At that time, he, Wang Apple, Kafei, Dawei, and Jiawen were discussing what should be done after the gender human rights dinner. At that time, it was already June, less than three months before the September rally, so the time was very short; however, from that year onwards, the rallies became very loud and organized.multicolored cloudsAt that time, almost one person was responsible for all the administrative work. It was the first time that we did a rainbow geoscape, that is, a collective action by the marching public to raise flags and spell out a six-color rainbow flag on Zhongxiao East Road.

"It's funny, gay culture is all about colorful and weird things, not about doing the same thing together, but making a rainbow scene is kind of like holding up a sign at a high school athletic event in our country. But at that time, because we wanted to have some special images in the media, we made the rainbow geoscape, and later on, it became a regular idea for the annual Gay Pride Parade. I remember that after that year, the number of participants in the march broke through, and people were no longer as secretive as they had been in the first march. I am also very grateful to the organizers of the first few rallies for their hard work and continuity, which made it possible for the rallies to continue uninterrupted."

He also mentioned the changes in the route of the march every year and its connection with the meaning of the space itself; in the first year, the march started from the February 28th Park to the Red Building, and ended at a place where gays and lesbians gathered; although the route was short, it was a breakthrough in terms of the social atmosphere at that time. Later on, the marchers felt that they should have a dialogue with the public, so they chose the crowded Zhongxiao East Road as the route, and the march ended at the city hall and the National Father's Memorial Hall; in recent years, they have chosen the area in front of the presidential palace in Kai-Dao, emphasized A-chieh:"I think it's significant that we (comrades) organized activities in Cadao to diversify the face of Taiwan society in international human rights."

When participating in the first march, Chieh specially dressed up as Yu Ji to commemorate the death of Leslie Cheung who died on April 1 of the same year, and on the other hand, to deliberately emphasize the element of dress-up in gay and lesbian culture."Gender is supposed to be constantly mocked and flipped, with all its possibilities and imaginative embodiments. In this way, dressing up is not just about "getting dressed up" to participate in a march, it is also about making a statement through action, because "a march is a very powerful event to fight for the rights of the masses!