Sophia Yen (Yan Zhexuan) has put together a heartfelt documentary about the events leading up to the decree for marriage equality in Taiwan. Taiwan Equals Love follows the lives of three couples. Though evidently about gay rights, it is also a portrait of sickness, getting older and worrying about the wellbeing of those we leave behind.
On the surface, these are the stories of a handful of LGBTQ people. But deeper than that, Yen explores the universal experience of sharing love.
Each couple has a loving and tender relationship, and struggle to keep positivity in their lives. Aging, preparing a will, caring for a sick child… these are all things adults face, whether straight or queer. The difference is before 2019, a legal guardian could not sign documents relating to their child or spouse unless they were blood-related. If one spouse would have fallen ill or worse – died – their partner would not have been allotted any sort of financial or social support.
Of the three couples, it is the elderly men together for 35 years that tug on the heartstrings. They are so devoted that tears fill their eyes while explaining each others’ health issues. Taiwan Equals Love is both historical and political, but it is more than that. It is very touching. It is human, and documents the collective relief of being granted permission to love whom we please. In May 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. The queer community may still face opposition, but now they are one step closer to acceptance and equality.
Taiwan Equals Love – 11:40 AM JST, November 8th, 2020 (Please note, screening times are in Japan Standard Time)