Taiwan’s LGBT Pop Music Continues to Soar After 2018’s Bitter Referendums

Taiwan’s LGBT community can always turn to the country’s deep Mandopop canon.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/02/15
By: Matt Taylor

Credit: Gene Wang / CC BY 2.0

Music, politics and protest in Taiwan are intrinsically linked. From the rumblings of Taiwanese identity in the campus folk music of the 1960s to the emotionally charged Island Sunrise (島嶼天光) written for the 2014 Sunflower Movement and even the long-running environmental conservation efforts instigated on the island, a rich and diverse musical history has always provided support; spreading the story of the underprivileged, and documenting their hopes and struggles. Similarly, there is a wealth of music that has been produced to support LGBT people that for many years has bolstered the island’s image as one that is progressive and supportive of same-sex love. The canon of music representing the Taiwanese LGBT movement is as diverse as those who create it; spanning genre, gender and sexual orientation.

On Nov. 24, 2018, however, Taiwan citizens rallied together to support several referendums spearheaded by conservative Christian groups. Up to 75 percent of Taiwanese voters not only voted to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, but also expressed a desire to roll back LGBT education in schools.

This article is not a commentary on the referendum results. Instead, we aim to take a look at the diverse collection of Taiwanese music which was created to support the LGBT movement and take a look at how these songs’ meanings are re-framed or deepened in a changing social and political climate.    [FULL  STORY]

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