WorldPride 2025 left in shambles as Taiwan pulls out of hosting over ‘disrespect’
WorldPride 2025 has been thrown into uncertainty after Taiwan pulled out of hosting.
Taiwan was announced as the host of WorldPride 2025 back in 2021. But on 12 August, officials said they were cancelled the event after InterPride, which licenses the event, “abruptly” insisted the festival be renamed WorldPride Kaohsiung 2025.
“The final straw that led the negotiation to a deadlock was the abrupt notice from InterPride requiring the name change,” the organising committee said on Facebook.
It continued: “There were major discrepancies between our stances on the event’s naming, understandings of Taiwan’s culture and expectations of what a WorldPride event should look like.
“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it may harm the interests of Taiwan and the Taiwan gay community. Therefore, it was decided to terminate the project before signing the contract.”
The Taiwanese committee claims InterPride repeatedly questioned whether it could host WorldPride, “despite our team consisting of highly competent pride organisers who have successfully organised some of the largest pride events in Asia”.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it regrets InterPride’s about-turn, blaming “political consideration” for the cancellation, according to the Taipei Times.
“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, has unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed upon consensus, and broken a relationship of cooperation and trust, leading to this outcome,” the ministry said in a 13 August statement.
“Not only does the decision disrespect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, it also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and runs counter to the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”
WorldPride is one of the largest LGBTQ+ Pride events in the world, with hundreds of thousands attending.
Taiwanese organisers had used the WorldPride Taiwan 2025 name throughout the bidding process. InterPride followed suit when it announced that Taiwan had beat Washington DC to host the event.
Organisers hoped to make WorldPride a nationwide affair rather than limiting it to just Kaohsiung. The name choice would also put it in line with the country’s nearly two-decade-long history of naming even local Pride events using the word “Taiwan”, the committee added.
InterPride’s board of directors said it was “surprised” by WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee’s decision, while referring to the event as “KH Pride”.
“We were confident a compromise could have been reached with respect to the long-standing WorldPride tradition of using the host city name,” they said in a statement posted on Twitter Monday (15 August).
“We suggested using the name ‘WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan’. We were also working with KH Pride to ensure they would deliver the event they promised to our members, who voted for their bid. While we are disappointed, InterPride respects and acknowledges KH Pride’s decision.”
WorldPride Taiwan 2025 would have been the first time a WorldPride event would have been hosted in Asia, according to InterPride.
But from the onset, Taiwan hosting WorldPride was met with controversy. Tension bristled between Taiwan and InterPride when InterPride named Taiwan a “region” rather than a country during the announcement in 2021.
Taiwan’s status has long been contested. Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, but Beijing views it as part of China. The UN does not recognise Taiwan as an independent country. Thirteen countries recognise Taiwan as a country, per Newsweek, not including the US. However, the US is an ally to Taiwan.
The blunder prompted a three-way meeting between Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, WorldPride Taiwan 2025 organisers and InterPride representatives. “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” was agreed upon during the meeting.