62 year-old Taiwanese LGBT+ activist named one of TIME's 100 most influential people of 2020

TIME's 100 most influential people in 2020 list features pioneering LGBT+ figures around the world, including activists, artists and icons.

An older Asian man on a balcony draped in a rainbow flag

A 62 year-old Taiwanese man has been honoured for his groundbreaking LGBT+ activism by being named on TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2020 list. 

Since 1986, Taiwanese LGBT+ activist Chi Chia-wei has been a leading advocate for queer rights and HIV awareness. He was a powerful voice in the fight for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Taiwan.  

In a TIME’s profile piece on the activist, President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, who was also chosen for the 100 list, wrote, “Despite the danger, [Chia-wei] repeatedly brought his case for equal rights to the courts, and his persistence led to the Grand Justices’ constitutional interpretation ruling that required the government to legalise same-sex marriage, which took effect in 2019.”

Chia-wei originally reacted to his place on TIME’s 100 list with disbelief, however later said it was an honour to be chosen. He also used this platform to call on the Taiwanese government to introduce laws which will allow LGBT+ people to marry their partners who are living outside Taiwan, including places where same-sex has not been legalised. 

President Ing-wen also wrote in the profile piece, “Through the years, Chi has stood tall against immense prejudice with his larger-than-life courage. I’m confident that Chi will light the way to a future where everyone deserves to love and be loved.”

“Ask anyone who’s attended Taiwan Pride, and they can probably tell you about the first time they laid eyes on Chi Chia-wei, standing high above the crowds and waving a rainbow flag. That image exemplifies what he means to Taiwan’s LGBTQ+ community: a symbol of hope to the next generation, the living embodiment of the idea that it truly does get better,” the President of Taiwan continued. 

TIME’s 100 list honoured many prominent LGBT+ figures and allies to the community in 2020. Alongside Chia-wei, it featured trans filmmaker Tourmaline, activist Angela Davis, Black Lives Matter co-founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, lawyer Chase Strangio, writer Michaela Coel, and the iconic Billy Porter

Within the TIME’s 100 list, there are five categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans, and Icons. 

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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