This year, the Gay Games is being held in Paris and the event is getting ever closer. As that fateful time grows closer, one country is noticing that it’s being rebranded and it has a good idea whose fault it is.
Relations between Taiwan and China have been less than nice as of late. China considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory and insists on the country being referred to as “Chinese Taipei” or something to that extent.
Meanwhile, Taiwan considers itself independent, and feels it’s time to stop being called Chinese Taipei at sporting events like the Olympics. As such, they saw the Gay Games in Paris as an opportunity to start a new precedent.
As Yang Chih-chun, president of the Taiwan Gay Sports and Gay Development Movement Association, told AFP, “We will fight till the last moment to use our national flag at the Gay Games."
According to TaiwanNews, civil rights activist Chi Chia-wei also highlighted the significance of the Gay Games being the host of this precedent by saying, "Homosexuals will bravely take care of whatever the government won't!"
Unfortunately, it looks like China’s bullying its way in.
According to AFP, Taiwan was notified by the Federation of Gay Games (or FGG) that the French government had “expressed concerns” over displaying the Taiwanese flag.
"Our logical conclusion is that China protests to the French government or otherwise this would not have happened," Yang said.
Even worse, the association is now fighting over what to call the country. The Paris games website labels them as “Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)” when the association registered as simply “Taiwan.”
"We hope the FGG can resist pressure," said Yang.
This pressure coming from China is not only affecting the Gay Games but other sectors involving Taiwan. Several international airlines and companies have changed the classification of the nation on their websites to “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei.”
In addition, the Chinese government have cut off official communication with the Taiwanese government, while inversely increasing military and diplomatic pressure.
Despite all this, politicians and Olympians are expressing their support of the 25 Taiwanese competitors participating in inline skating, table tennis, and swimming under the slogan “Taiwan Comes Out!”
In fact, Taiwanese politician Huang Kuo-chang expressed his support of the group of athletes at a press conference earlier today.
Those athletes will need all the support they can get as outside influences are trying to force their hand. As we grow closer to the start of events on August 4th, it looks like Taiwan will have to fight in order to raise its flag at the Gay Games in Paris… or anywhere else for that matter.