Around 18,000 people have taken part in the annual Taipei Gay Carnival Pride Parade, said to be the largest gay event in Asia.

The parade took place on Saturday in Taiwan, despite rain courtesy of Typhoon Janfmi, and is the ninth in the event’s history.

Australia’s National Nine News reported that Wang Ping, organiser of the march, said:

“Last year there were about 15,000. Today there were about 18,000, and I saw some very young people taking part. This shows that more and more homosexuals are daring to stand out and be themselves. But we hope this ‘dare to be oneself’ can turn into participation in the gay rights movements.”

The parade was the climax of the carnival that started on September 12 and featured a number of activities and events including an essay competition on gay life, which is being run by the city government. The best essays will b collated into a booklet.

Taiwan is said to be one of the region’s most gay friendly countries although same-sex marriage has not yet been legalised.

When the parade started in 2002 it only drew 500 participants.

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