65 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
OWU Connection Programs
Project Title: Island Queerness: Exploring LGBT+ Taiwan
Mentor: Mary Howard
Taiwan is a small island nation off the coast of China, with a turbulent history and a current reputation for being a quickly developing country with one of Asia’s most progressive societies. Taipei’s LGBT pride parade is the second biggest one in all of Asia, and the Taiwanese queer community is known as one of Asia’s most open ones. Ryan Bishop (Zlatanova) ’17 and Spencer Zhang ’19 spent two weeks exploring the Taiwanese LGBT+ community in May 2017. They conducted over 15 interviews with queer Taiwanese students, activists and politicians, including Taiwan’s first gay rights activist, Chi Chia-Wei, and one of the biggest political advocates for the queer community, Legislator Yu Mei-Nu. Within two weeks, the two visited various LGBT+ significant sites, businesses and events, and witnessed the historic ruling by a Taiwanese court which paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage. From community problems, through education and societal attitudes, to trans issues and community problems, Ryan and Spencer learned profound insights into the Taiwanese queer community. All that they found is compiled in the docu-series “Island Queerness: Exploring LGBT+ Taiwan” and a future written publication.