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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Nymphia Wind treats Tsai to performance

President Tsai Ing-wen, center, and other officials pose alongside Nymphia Wind, front left, and other drag performers at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen, center, and other officials pose alongside Nymphia Wind, front left, and other drag performers at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday. Photo: CNA

2024/05/16 03:00

PAYING TRIBUTE: Decked out in a dress in her signature yellow color, Nymphia called President Tsai ‘Taiwan’s mother’ for her contributions to gender equality

By Chen Yun and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Nymphia Wind encourages young Taiwanese to “be fearless and true to themselves,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, following a performance by the drag queen at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Nymphia, 28, last month became the first Taiwanese and first East Asian to be crowned the “Next Drag Superstar” on the US reality television series RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Nymphia — the drag persona of Leo Tsao (曹米駬), who goes by he/him in everyday life, but she/her when in drag — yesterday performed for Tsai at the Presidential Office where she was joined by her “drag family” and television presenter Jesse Tang (唐綺陽).

Tsai congratulated Nymphia on her drag race win, and said her performances contributed to the fight against social discrimination.

“I trust that Nymphia’s journey will give many young people in Taiwan the courage to be fearless and true to themselves,” she said.

Nymphia thanked Tsai for her part in the passage of a marriage equality bill.

Along with her contributions to gender equality, being the country’s first female president made Tsai “Taiwan’s mother,” she said.

In her performance, Nymphia wore an outfit in her signature yellow color and performed songs by Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) singer Huang Fei (黃妃), Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) and Lady Gaga.

“This was the first time in my eight years as president that the Presidential Office was so lively,” Tsai Ing-wen said. “There are so many beautiful people and colorful outfits here today.”

Nymphia said the inspiration for her outfit came from the yellow lotus, a species of flower unique to Taiwan.

“The lotus needs a lot of mud to grow, in the same way that Taiwan faces many challenges in its development, but in the end its beauty emerges untarnished,” she said. “I want to thank Tsai for all she’s done to allow Taiwan to grow into the place it has become today. I also want to thank my mother, Tsao Hui-min (曹慧敏).”

Tsai said that Nymphia became the “Next Drag Superstar” on April 19, the day before Gender Equality Education Day.

The holiday was established in 2004 to commemorate “Rose Boy” Yeh Yung-chih (葉永鋕), a student at Pingtung County’s Gaoshu Junior High School who committed suicide on April 20, 2000. Yeh, who was 15 at the time of his death, had been bullied over his effeminate behavior.

Social discrimination is also the focus of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on Friday, Tsai said.

“In the past few years, the government has been committed to promoting gender equality,” she said. “We hope that in a democratic and free Taiwan, everyone can express themselves freely, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and can also start a family with the person they love.”

Nymphia is this summer to perform at the Taiwan Pavilion at the Paris Cultural Olympiad.

Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party have championed LGBTQ+ rights and in 2019 Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in a first for Asia.

Taipei hosts East Asia’s largest Pride march every October. Last year, Vice President William Lai (賴清德), who takes office as president on Monday next week, marched at the parade, becoming the most senior government leader ever to attend.

Additional reporting by Reuters

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

Drag queen Nymphia Wind performs at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning.
Photo: CNA

Drag queen Nymphia Wind performs at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning. Photo: CNA

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