WorldPride 2025 would have been the first time a global lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer event was held in Asia.
Originally scheduled to be held in Taiwan, the event has been abruptly canceled due to disagreement over the naming of the event. Despite winning the bid to host the pride event under the name WorldPride Taiwan, organizers InterPride suddenly requested that the word "Taiwan" be dropped altogether.
This can be traced to external pressure from neighboring China.
The cancellation of the WorldPride 2025 event in Taiwan is not only a loss for LGBTQ rights in Asia. It's also emblematic of the influence of authoritarian regimes worldwide.
InterPride admitted as much when it announced that it's seeking consultative status with the United Nations (UN), a status that would give it the same footing as other non-governmental organizations to take part in multilateral discussions on economic, social and human rights issues.
However, China repeatedly abuses its position at the United Nations to prevent groups that are critical of China from receiving UN accreditation.
Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Yet it was denied the right to hold a global pride event. This is not the first time that China has interfered and tried to marginalize Taiwan's existence as an independent nation-state.