Queer(ing) Taiwan: Sexual Citizenship, Nation-Building or Civil Society
Wei-cheng Chu(Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University)
This article begins with a contextualist review of Taiwan’s gay movement in the 1990s. It argues that the movement is highly dependent upon a self-tranformative process of the hetero-mainstream society since the lift of martial law, which also explains its gradual inactivity near the end of the decade. However, certain contingent changes in political opportunity since the year of 2000 initiate the so-called “civic turn” of Taiwan’s gay movement with its emphasis on the civil rights of lesbians and gays. For the sake of comparison and contrast, similar developments mainly in the US and the controversy surrounding it—which can be summed up in the idea of “sexual citizen(ship)—are also examined. Finally, the article returns to analyze the local conditions of Taiwan which may pose challenges to the new movement of gay citizenship, the most prominent being the zest for nationalism. And it ends with boldly proposing a positive role that could be played by Taiwan’s gay (civil) movement in the establishment of a civil society on this island.
gay movement, mainstream media, Lift of Martial Law, sexual citizen(ship), nation(alism), civil society