[Half-Day English Walking Tour] The Crystal Boys’ Escape Route: Taipei’s Diverse Gender Landscape | SDG-5 Gender Issues Series]

2023-10-13

[10/15 (Sun) [Half-Day English Walking Tour] The Crystal Boys’ Escape Route: Taipei’s Diverse Gender Landscape | SDG-5 Gender Issues Series]

When you think of Taiwan, what comes to mind? It’s a land rich in traditions!
Last year, CPEC (Community and Peer Education Center) curated two thrilling trips to Jiufen and Shifen.
We delved into the enchanting world of a mountainous coal-mining town and were entranced by the mesmerizing tradition of releasing sky lanterns.
Yet, beyond these captivating customs, Taiwan’s modern society is equally inviting and inclusive!

“Yesterday’s too close, tomorrow’s far away, in silence we embrace the night;
the evening breeze caresses lotus leaves, I’m intoxicated by the pond,
waiting for you to see my beauty so clear; moonlight drying all my tears.” 
– Mayday’s “Embrace” (Listen here: https://youtu.be/tj8O6mDfw2g)

One of the most popular Taiwanese rock band, Mayday’s “Embrace,” from their 1999 debut album, is widely recognized and a guitar-learning starting point.
Yet, the hidden tale within is less known—it depicts the 1990s gay community’s life and exile in Taipei.
The “New Park” alluded to in the song hints at the same park featured in Literary Giant Pai Hsien-yung’s pioneering LGBTQ novel “Crystal Boys,” serialized from 1977.

In 2019, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. In the post-same-sex marriage era, attitudes toward sexual minorities have evolved.
While some LGBTQ+ friends may be in our circles, understanding the shadows of their lives remains rare.
After all, it was only as late as in 2003 that the first LGBTQ+ Pride Parade was held in Taipei;
three years before that (2000), the “Rose Boy” Ye Yong-Zhi, who had been bullied on campus for his gender expression, had just passed away; and
three years before that (1997), the Changde Street incident, in which massive police arrests of LGBTQ+ individuals just occurred.
The suffering of people is not too distant in the past, and the wheel of time does not guarantee only progress without regression.

“Women should roam night’s realm, LGBTQ+ in day’s dominion.” Taipei’s streets conceal the footprints of lost souls fleeing the night’s obscurity.
Through a journey into diverse gender landscapes, let us enter the living spaces for which LGBTQ+ individuals have battled for decades.
Delve into their life stories, from concealment to revelation, making the minority’s history our collective future!

Diversity, connection, experiential learning—we are the LAC CPEC!

[Event Details]

  1. Transportation from Hsinchu is available. Taipei participants, please meet directly at the assembly point.
  2. The event will be conducted in English, with both native and international students participating. Afternoon tea will be provided, in hope of fostering cross-cultural dialogues on gender issues.
  3. At various locations during the event, LGBTQ+ community members will share their life experiences with participants. We hope everyone engages with open-minded respect and curiosity.

Date: Oct 15, 2023 (Sunday) 13:30-19:30
Location: Assembly at MRT National Taiwan University Hospital Station (Hsinchu transportation assembly at 12:20)
Participants: Total 40, with approximately half being native students
Registration Link: https://forms.gle/RbA1SkCWZ7PdfDde7
(Registration Deadline: 10/13 (Fri) 18:00, confirmation emails for accepted and waitlisted participants will be sent out that evening!)

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